Thursday, January 19, 2012

"Obsession with safety is ruining our playgrounds" (LA Times)

Come to think of it, current playground equipment is tamer than what I remember from my childhood:
Last fall, a state inspector strode into Great Beginnings preschool and declared the tree house and climbing structure too high. They would have to come down or be surrounded by extra padding.

The metal ladder to the playhouse, which had been there 30 years, could pinch the children, said Beverly Wright-Chrystal, a state child care licensing representative. Also, a log worn smooth by generations of boys and girls playing horsy and hide-and-go-seek would have to be sanded and painted because of a potential "splinter hazard," Wright-Chrystal determined.

Marian Stocking, who opened the Long Beach preschool in a converted house on 4th Street in 1978, had the offending equipment hauled away. Watching it go, some of the children cried out, "Tell those bad men to bring our log back." [...]
The workers were probably just doing their jobs, of course. The children should have cried out, "Tell the bad inspector lady not to come back here anymore!" or "Tell the bad government to make itself smaller!"

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