January 4, 2012
While playgrounds for kids today may be designed with a child’s safety as the first priority, new research shows that these “play safe” designs may be leading to a generation of bored, inactive kids. According to an article released today by WTHR 13 News, research from a study done at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center shows there is a desperate need to balance safety concerns with vigorous and stimulating play.
Data was collected from more than 100 childcare providers and focus groups in different areas and income levels surrounding the city over several years. Three main problems were determined to be contributing to blocking children from getting the exercise they need:
- State licensing codes and financial constraints that restrict equipment choices
- Injury concerns
- Pressure to put classroom learning as a priority above playtime
Researchers added that children are proven to concentrate and learn better after brief periods of vigorous activity.
Opponents to the findings say that researchers failed to take into consideration the number and types of injuries that can occur on the playground. Angela Mickalide, director of research and programs for Safe Kids Worldwide, said that nearly 220,000 children visited Emergency Room facilities in 2009 with playground equipment-related injuries. The most dangerous equipment seemed to be older slides with steep grades and climbers between 8 and 10 feet high.
The Indiana personal injury attorneys with Stewart and Stewart Injury Lawyers would like to know what you think about this debate. Do kids need a heightened challenge during playtime or are playgrounds dangerous enough already? Tell us what you think by posting to our Facebook page.