Playgrounds too safe? So concludes a recent article that’s been making the usual rounds on the Internet. The main contention is that the kiddie sites are becoming homogenized and dumbed down. “We’re now at a point where every playground is pretty much the same. And they’re boring. They’re not challenging,” says playground expert Alex Gilliam who longs for the 3-story forts of his youth.
The talking points in the article say it all, with the author leading off by observing that “the increased focus on safety may have had unintended consequences: a generation of kids who aren’t able to accurately assess risk or cope with fear.” But even more interesting are the comments posted in reaction to the piece.
Dr. Ellen Sandseter proposes that, “children need to encounter risks and overcome fears on the playground.” Reader, George, flips this statement by stating that it’s not playground injuries that are feared. “It is the American way of life that is at fault here,” he responds. “Everyone has to sue someone else if something happens.”