In yet another attempt to shield kids from typical fun childhood experiences the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation has removed spinning disks from several NY city parks. A spokesperson for the Parks Department notes that the spinning disks were removed due to reports of kids being injured while playing on said disks, though just how many injuries had been reported or other specifics have not been mentioned. According to reports, the spinning metal saucers that kids used to be able to ride have recently been welded into place so they can’t move, plus the city has modified or removed seven other disks citywide, “in the interest of public safety,” the spokeswoman said. To sum up this situation, adults are dumbing down parks so much, there’s not a kid left who is going to want to even go to the park. It’s a sad state of affairs, especially considering how little time kids spend outside being active as it is nowadays.
Of course we all want our kids to be safe at the playground, but seriously, this is just ridiculous. Kids fall off swings, slides and other playground equipment often. Why not get rid of all the parks? Why not grow kids inside, in little padded cells? You know, just to be safe. Some parents in Park Slope, where the first spinning disk was removed, are upset by the changes, saying that the city is taking things too far in order to “protect” kids. David Friedlander, dad of a two year-old, tells DNAinfo: NY, “I think it sucks. I think it’s a sad commentary on how litigious and afraid we’ve become of having our children get a few boo-boos.” Friedlander also admitted that his son has managed to fall off the disk while playing, but he fell directly onto the now common in city parks, rubberized ground below the disk and all was well. Apparently, the city has already removed other play equipment before, such as a Slope Park swing after two kids broke their ankles while playing on it.
As a kid who grew up in the 70s and 80s, my friends and I encountered swings, rickety old merry-go-rounds and other possible dangers at the park, including, you know, real dirt or bark dust, not rubber mats on the ground — and we survived with very few scratches. Not to mention that kids back then would go to the park ALONE, and we did some really stupid stuff, like flipping off swings, riding slides backwards and hanging onto a merry-go-round with our arms while our legs dangled along in the dirt. If I had to place a bet, I’d say kids today might get hurt more often but that’s because kids today are out of shape, not allowed to learn how to take playground risks and possibly the idea of playing outside on equipment makes them nervous, so they get hurt. Here at Inhabitots, we’ve said it before and we’ll keep on saying it until it sinks in – kids NEED adventure, risks, outside time, alone time away from adults and yes, they need to mess up and fall down. All of this is healthy, normal kid stuff. If we keep sanitizing childhood, kids are gonna be living, scared, with parents til they’re 40! If you’re concerned that childhood has become too protected, try sending your kid outside to play ALONE or at the very least hunt down a park with real play equipment. Your kids can handle all of this and much more.