Friday, November 19, 2010

Good Bye Swingsets, My Old Friends

Note to children: It is very unwise to attempt to imitate the flight pattern of Superman or Wonder Woman from the highest arc of a swing.

Note to parents of children who fly: Please carry insurance so you can cover your own bills when your young superhero ignores the note above. And resist the urge to sue someone to cover the difference. This is one of the many costs of parenthood that were kept secret from us all so we wouldn't be deterred from propagating the species.

Note to Cabell County Schools: If you're looking to avoid any potential liability, you'll need to remove every tree, every parking lot, every glass window, every door and any vehicles from your properties. All of these things, too, have caused personal injury to some passer by or another.

Recently, officials in Cabell County, W. Virginia opted to remove all swing sets from playgrounds. It was their effort to limit liability, and it came about as part of a settlement of two lawsuits filed by parents of young superheroes in training.

I'm all for safety, and, sure, kids can (and do) get hurt on swings in a number of fashions. (Who hasn't either run into a kid who didn't understand or failed to pay attention to the repetitious path of the swing? Who hasn't been that kid on the ground - at least once?) But we can't just take away every obstacle from our children's lives. It doesn't serve the children, for darn sure, and it doesn't really alleviate that whole liability issue. People who will sue because their children were injured performing typical childhood activities are just as likely to sue if same kid trips over a crack in the sidewalk, or his own shoelaces.

In Cabell County at least the monkey bars remain in play . . .  for now.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, swingsets increase the insurance premiums dramatically, which is why our city has been phasing them out gradually. The best playgrounds I've found in the area are really Waller Park in Santa Maria, or the castle one in Solvang.


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