Lv 7
pdooma asked in Pregnancy & ParentingParenting · 10 years ago

Have lawsuits and injuries taken away all the fun equipment on the playground?

Swings are all but gone. Teeter totters are no longer levers on a base but these silly poles on springs that don't really do much than bounce. Gone are the merry-go-rounds, too. All the playgrounds around here are stationary structures that have a slide or two and that's it. No wonder they're always empty. Also, on a side note, almost all the things to play on that are sheer physics are gone: levers, pendulums, centrifugal force... Only the slide (gravity/friction) remains.

12 Answers

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago
    Best answer

    Eventually our playgrounds will consist of a mat that you stand on and a pole that you hold on to as you walk around it (with Mommy holding the other hand, of course). It's a shame, but what can we expect them to do when every injury from a stubbed toe on up is cause for alarm, and obviously it's all someone's fault? I think a lot of people have forgotten that skinned knees and elbows are a part of childhood, and even a broken arm isn't the end of the world.

    On a side note: for my son's birthday one year I built him a big jungle gym. It has a 6 foot slide made of sheet metal. On the side of that I built a frame and filled in the walls and ceiling of it with rope lattices. He can climb on it, crawl on top, and hang upside down from it. There are monkey bars and 3 ropes set together in a v shape so you walk along one and hold onto the others, and a tower with handholds on the outside and inside. He and his friends still love it, they play out on it all the time and stage wars and raids on each other. From time to time I go and check and make sure everything is still structurally sound, but there haven't been any problems yet and I built it for him nearly 3 years ago. He and his friends prefer playing there to the park because the park is "boring". Kind of sad that a place designed especially for the amusement of children is "boring".

    Edit: I also think it's not just the equipment, it's the atmosphere. These boys don't need a lot to be entertained, give them an open field and a ball and they're good to go. But the park is turning into a police state. Kids will try and organize football or baseball teams and parents will butt in and referee.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    The playground we tend to go to has some good stuff, and looks fairly new. It has swings, two playscapes (one bigger, one smaller) with climbing apparatus' and several differently sized and shaped slides.

    It also has 4 tire swings that lay flat, and are attached to a rotating arm that turns and spins in a circle. The faster you go and the more weight that is on it, the more the tires go up and the faster they go.

    It does not have a seesaw, unfortunately.

    It also has a basketball court and some grass to run around on. It's actually a nice playground.

    There's another playground about 20 minutes from us. Haven't been there yet - but it has a merry go round and a ride on model steam train.

  • Kris H
    Lv 6
    10 years ago

    At our local park we still have a merry-go-round. They also just installed a water feature that shoots water out of a big cement area for the kids to run through. I did notice the teeter totters are on springs now, but my son still loves to get on one end with me on the other and bounce. I think by far his favorite thing to play with at the park is the large wooden structure where you can run across the bridge, crawl through the tunnel and then go down the slide. I do think lawsuits probably play a large part in the officials making our parks safer(?), but thankfully the park where we live hasn't changed too much while managing to stay kid friendly.

  • Jeff N
    Lv 6
    10 years ago

    Yes, it's a sad commentary on what this country has become. We're a society of lazy, spineless wimps that are looking for "that one big score" because they feel entitled to it. Lawsuits or the Lottery is now the way to achieve The American Dream. Which, by the way, no longer merely means owning your own home. No, now we have to own 2 new vehicles and a house full of electronic gadgets, as well.

    Lawsuits have become unbelievable. It starts with a whining plaintiff and an unscrupulous attorney. Add in a moronic jury that awards a mountain of money and an apathetic judge that allows it. Mix them all up and what do you get? Absurd judgments that defy logic. Oh, and empty, boring playgrounds.

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    In the playgrounds I have been to I can agree with you on that. Its boring. Even though I have only been on a see-saw (and an actual one; the one where one person sits on one side and you on the other) I loved it! Even if I have never been on a merry-go-round I mean when I go to a park I wanna be able to spin around till I cant stand on my own two feet! I mean I hardly even go to parks anymore! (I'm 13 but I honestly love going out to parks just to play and run around like an idiot!...not a stupid idiot but you should get what I'm trying to say)

    And plus I mean if people would freaking watch their kids hardly any injuries would occur! And I don't mean If a child is running on the side walk racing and trips and scrapes their knee injuries because those happen weather you watch or not. I mean injuries where a 2ft toddler is on a jungle-gym with a (from the toddlers feet) 2 - 4 foot drop! Because if the parent was watching (and I don't mean sitting on a bench watching I mean watching as in helping their lil toddler!) The child wouldn't have fallen and broken their arm or leg or whatever!

    And nowadays Parents are freaking ready to sue about any flipping thing! I mean If you would watch and make cure your child is safe there is no freaking reason they would get hurt! Because back then parents actually watched their children and werent paranoid of having to take them to the hospital if they broke their arm playing a jungle gym! (and I mean if the child was like old enough to be one a jungle gym of that hieght and slipped and fell while reaching to the next bar and I mean back when my grandparents were kids). But now with the threat of child abuse from a bruise a child got from falling (like kids arnt going to get bruises all over their body...and if the child takes karate [like I do] or any other psychcal activiy sport heck from falling, getting hit while playing the game/sparring heck bruises are going to be almost everywhere if the child is like me...) Plus some parents "oh well they will be fine" attitude = lawsuit in a heart beat just bcause the child fell or jumped off of something of height (like the top of soemthign that is 5ft off of the ground) and broke a leg, arm, wrist, or whatever all because some parents thought the child would be fine and decied not to watch them...

    But all in all ALL playground epuipment is safe if you use it right and if the parent freakign watches their child instead of assuming that the child will be safe just bcause they are at a playground....

    And the only time playground equipment is dangerous is if its broken/kids are abusing it.

  • 10 years ago


    These safety freaks are taking over the world.

    I am SO LUCKY to have had the "old school" play grounds at my elem. school. I loved those play grounds so much.

    Kids get hurt....im sorry but this will sound mean but so the hell what?

    You're kid falls off the monkey bars and breaks an arm...ok. That's life. He's in a cast for 6 weeks.

    My brother's friend just broke him arm in two places and is having surgery tomorrow for something that happened at a skate park while he was on a BMX bike. Should we tape off the park and ban the children from skating?

    Get over it people.

    Kids are going to fall, trip, slip. They are going to get bruises, cuts, lacerations. They will need stitches. They are going to have sprains, fractures, breaks. They will have ER trips and surgery.

    If you coddle kids and don't even let them get hurt or anything then you are going to have adults in the real world who, trip and sprain an ankle and forget how to cope with life and try to sue whoever they can.

    I have broken my collar bone(doctors actually did that at birth getting me out).

    I have bruised internal organs.

    I have had stitches.

    I have fractured stuff.

    I have broken a toe before, actually 3 times same toe.

    I have sprain, twisted, rolled...loopty looped my ankles..

    You name it.

    Yet I see some kids/teens get a cut or a busted lip and be the biggest babies.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    We pass three or four parks before I reach the one I like...the one with swings! The other ones are nice, clean, and well-kept with lovely landscaping, but also lame. I vaguely remember the merry-go-rounds, and I've never seen a play ground with a teeter-totter. Parents freak out if little Johnny comes home with a scraped knee, bruise, or a bump on his head. These same parents end up raising overly emotional, sensitive whiny sissies.

    I grew up in a time when kids came home before supper--dirty, scraped, and bruised, with plenty of fun and exciting stories to share.

  • 10 years ago

    Yes I miss huge metal slides and spinning my kids on a merry go round till the turn green. heehee

    Its no wonder they stay inside. My three are very physical and hated the new stuff so much they took to climbing the outside of the eqiptment to have fun. well all i can say is climbing centers and rock walls have helped. but i do miss the old metal stuff so much. we are rasing a society of wimps.

  • 10 years ago

    my kids had the time of their lives at a playground in vienna, where apparently tort law doesn't exist. on the other hand, we used a couple of bandaids on that visit (one for the merry-go-round, in fact).

    i do agree that it's kind of a loss and that the average playground these days is insufficiently challenging and interesting for older kids. here's one alternative some places are coming up with: http://adventureplaygrounds.hampshire.edu/

  • y
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    Why yes they are and what your looking at now will be replaced by something else in a few years. It seems they keep finding safety issues of one kind or another and are on a continual mission to pull them out and replace them with the next best thing. That is then pulled out because some kid was gnawing on it or something and the cycle continues. In ten years our parks are starting their fourth replacement structures.

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