Yes, the Playground Police have struck again.
Dodge ball – out. Seesaws – out.
What’s left to do at the playground? Coloring and play-doh ? Maybe playing Hide-and-Go-Seek-Safe Spaces?
Via NY Post.
So long, seesaws. You’ve had your ups and downs over the years, but today you’re not only down, you’re out. Like smoking, chainsaw-juggling and dodgeball, you became too much of a public-health menace to be tolerated.
The federal government is knocking seesaws out of existence, according to the New York Times. That’s right, the same people who keep warning us about the childhood obesity epidemic that just happened to come along when childhood “play” was redefined from “running around madly” to “pressing sideways-pointing triangle on screen” are now removing one more piece of movement-based equipment from kids’ lives.
Apparently the government has something called “federal safety guidelines for playgrounds.” Because your local parks department and city, county and state governments can’t be trusted to handle the pressing question of how to set up a playground. Ever since the guidelines were established in 1981, they have become more and more stringent, and the worryingly thick 2015 edition (more than 50 pages) has so many scary diagrams, definitions and fun-extinguishing mandatory buzzkill rules (“The maximum attainable angle between a line connecting the seats and the horizontal is 25°”) that the seesaws (“also known as teeter-totters,” the federales gravely inform us) are simply being phased out.
….Only 2 percent of emergency-room visits related to playground mishaps resulted from contact with seesaws, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission….
…those teeter-totters provide a surprising benefit to developing kiddies. “By rapidly moving the child through vertical space,” physical therapist Lauren Drobnjak, co-author of the book “Sensory Processing 101,” told the New York Times, seesaws help beef up a tot’s sense of balance “in a way that no other playground equipment can.” Plus, the act of pushing yourself up from the ground helps with strength and coordination. “A seemingly simple plaything actually provides so many important sensory experiences for kids,” she told the Times….