Is child play becoming too safe?
A recent interesting Wall Street Journal article has been picked up around the internet: "Experts Warn Playgrounds Have Become Too Safe." The report cited some child-development experts and parents concern much fun is missing from play and playgrounds. Over-protective helicopter parents along with fear of liability for injuries has limited the excitement of play and playgrounds.
A recent study indicated more than half of Los Angeles Unified School District students were overweight. One in three students were at risk of future medical problems negatively impacting their effective involvement in the workforce.
Instead of running around a playground these students sit, watching TV or engaged in computer games.
It would be wise for parents, educators, community leaders and others to carefully review the impact of rules and regulations governing students play. Adult concerns must be moderated to keep the fun in the physical activity playground games provide. Eliminating 'tag' games on playgrounds in my opinion reduces the opportunity for kids to safely run, play hard, chase and tag.
Bill Habermehl retired as superintendent for the Orange County Department of Education earlier this year.