Why Are Kids Getting Fat?
Is there real danger on the modern playground?
Safety advocates say yes and want to eliminate it.
Their first target: swing sets.
They’ve convinced Portland Public Schools to remove all swings from elementary schools playgrounds.
Okay, so no more swing sets. How about slides, merry-go-rounds, teeter-totters?
Portland Public Schools have also rejected merry go rounds, tube slides, track rides, arch climbers, and teeter totters.
But at least the kids will be safe, fat, but safe.
Our lawsuit happy culture has schools and parks installing low-to-the-ground play structures that some have derided as “dumbed down.”
Now, it seems, anything with moving parts is a lawsuit liability, and in some places, that even means moving legs.
In Broward County, Florida, there’s a new rule on the playground: no running.
But lets worry about sodas instead of this kind of paternalism on the part of our government. Christ, I treat my dog better than this.
You can forget about dodge ball, tether ball, and how much further behind this are sports like soccer and baseball?
the article also has the following graphic,
That sounds bad right? 200,000 injuries and 17 deaths…my God something must be done. Lock the kids in a small room and give them only plush toys.
The problem with the above idiotic statistics is that they are totally lacking in any context or perspective. Sure 17 deaths on playgrounds is horrible, but how many children are on Americas playgrounds each and every day? If there are 5 million kids on play grounds 365 days of the year then there are almost 2 billion incidents where a child could, theoretically, have died and yet only 17 have. My guess is that children are safest while on play grounds and they are getting exercise.
Lets apply this kind of logic to schools in general. How many kids have been shot at school? At least 17? If this is the case then the very same logic above implies that we shouldn’t send our kids to school because they’ll get shot. It isn’t just stupid, it is blazingly stupid. This picture is rather telling. An overweight sophmore who was injured at a school shooting…but at least he was safe from swings. The Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice notes that in 1997-1998 there were 40 deaths due to school shootings. My god, I think we need to make bullet proof vests part of a national school uniform. The same website also provides the following table,
Count of School Shooting Deaths(16)
Schools are a freaking warzone!
Yes, I know that is shrill and over the top…that was the point. The whole idea of “making playgrounds safer” is shrill and over the top. However, we now have some slight perspective on how completely idiotic these playground safety warriors are. The number of deaths due to playgrounds is less than half that of shooting deaths (the annual average based on the above data is 37.67 deaths per year). If you don’t worry about your kid getting shot at school you should be even less worried they will be killed playing on the play ground.
People in general are stupid on one thing here. They are very, very, very bad at evlauating risk. Somebody tells a scary story of a kid strangling himself on the monkey bars and suddenly play grounds in an entire school district are re-done at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars. The actual risk is miniscule and parents take far greater risks doing things like driving their kids to school or taking them out shopping. But this inability to evaluate risks in a reasonable manner is precisely what the Nanny Staters exploit to push their agendas.
Initial link via Radley Balko.