General Question

squirbel's avatar

Why the war on merry-go rounds and rocker horses in city/school parks?

Asked by squirbel (4297points) April 16th, 2011

I’ve just returned to my city of birth. I’ve returned to the places I frequented as a child, and commented to my brother of how barren the parks seem.

He related his experience of taking his daughter to the parks, and how seesaws, merry-go-rounds, and even rocker horses were taken out of the parks gradually. He told me of how he and the wife found a seesaw in one apartment complex, and would take the daughter there – but then it was gone.

Those park toys gave me the best memories of playing in the park. If they are taking those toys away based on parents who are worried their kid will fall off and get scratched, that makes me mad. Why are they being taken out?

Why keep swingsets when they are more dangerous than those three combined?

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19 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

They take them out when insurance companies come out and say “your rates are going up because you have that hazard” or because they get a suit or a claim.

Maximillian's avatar

Excuse my language, but this issue pisses me off more than some others.

You can thanks the damned asshole, Dr. Spock. He started this whole goody-feely shit with children. That’s why corporeal punishment, or any type of punishment for that matter, is gone in schools. These few latest generations lack in hard discipline and work because they were raised by parents who believed they should be their child’s best friend only, and not their parent and friend.

Why did I say all that? Because parents seem to believe that a child needs to be raised without any dirt, without any good old fashioned accidents.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Maximillian I’m not really sure what Dr. Spock or a lack of corporeal punishment has to do with seesaws.

everephebe's avatar

Next they’ll cut down all the trees, because people might fall out of them and sue. Oh wait…

JLeslie's avatar

The merry-go-round was my favorite! I did notnknow they were being removed from playgrounds. I wonder if there have really been a lot of accidents? Pools I used to go to no longer have high diving boards, and I was told there had never been an accident, but they decided it was too risky. Those pools have been there for 50 years.

jca's avatar

I used to love the see saw and have noticed recently that there are none around. I did not know about the rocker horses. I do see them on occasion.

MacBean's avatar

Someone needs to learn the difference between “corporeal” and “corporal.”

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@MacBean Not so much learn the difference as pay more attention to spellcheck.

blueberry_kid's avatar

Maybe they were old and no one liked them anymore, people can change…

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keobooks's avatar

I’m bummed out about their being gone too. I remember having so much fun on the Merry go round. I also remember trying to jump on and missing and getting the worst gravel burn down the entire front of my body. That’s a rite of passage!

squirbel's avatar

@keobooks I agree! It is a rite of passage! Toys like these teach children valuable lessons of working together and teamwork… This really upsets me.

Zaku's avatar

I suspect insurance companies too. Anyway, it is wrong to not have those things available.

However, some new parks have some fairly cool new things to spin around on, some of which seem at least as dangerous as the old stuff, to me.

Maybe the insurance companies just haven’t decided the new toys are too fun, yet.

Have I mentioned that I hate insurance?

SpatzieLover's avatar

We still have all of the above here in my village. At the private school one way down my block are the rocker horses…they also have this super coll digging toy that makes a huge mess.

Down the other way, at the public school there is a merry go round…yep, the kind we had as kids! And at the park (between the two) there is a see saw. Now, the see saw is a bit lower to the ground than the ones we had as kids…and it can seat four comfortably. The mechanism is covered with rubber, so no kids hands get cut off…but, kids do still ride it standing up (especially here where we have families w/over 5kids a piece).

Maximillian's avatar

My apologies for the incorrect spelling. Rather tired when I wrote that. I know thats not an excuse, but it’s my response.


The reason I attribute the disappearance of such park toys is because of the over-coddling of children. They don’t want their children to get a scratch on them. My parents would say, “Cowboy up, throw some dirt on it, and get back up.” They didn’t sterilize me for worry about my health if a
scrapped my knee, or caught my shirt on the merry-go-round.

The only other reason I can suspect is this: irresponsibility. Parents believe that the children should not be held responsible for anything. Tickets, getting hurt, nothing. But, then again, it could also be that the parents don’t want to be held accountable for their own children, so they blame it on someone else.

keobooks's avatar

@Maximillian I think it’s more. of a fear of getting sued than the parents being soft these days. I believe MOST of the parents know their kids are going to get banged up. But it’s that one psycho parent that ends up suing the city and winning that makes all of the kids suffer.

At the elementary school where I taught a few years back, they abolished recess in the district because they were afraid of lawsuits from the parents. They didn’t call it recess.. they called it “unstructured play” and said it was too dangerous to allow the children to participate in. They could get their physical activity in the gym class once a week.

It’s so sad that a few parents have to ruin it for everyone. I want my daughter to skin her knees up on the merry go round, just like me! But alas, by the time she’s 10, she probably will be required to wear a helmet while playing on the swingset that won’t swing higher than 4 feet.

Maximillian's avatar

Amen, @keobooks , amen. Perhaps where I live (smaller town) we have A LOT of those “one psycho parent.” It gets pretty bad here.

Zaku's avatar

I would like to live in a society where part of the legal/social contract ensures that the “one crazy parent” is not going to be over-awarded, and in general people and children are responsible for the trouble they get themselves into.

Maximillian's avatar

When society holds the needs of the individual overwhelming above the needs of society, it becomes chaotic, confusing, and arbitrarily annoying.

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