ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Are Park Playgrounds too Dangerous?

Updated on August 21, 2014
Diane Lockridge profile image

Lockridge homeschools her children and holds an EdS in Curriculum and Instruction, an MS in Elementary Education, and a BA in History.

Children need plenty of active play for their mental and physical well-being.
Children need plenty of active play for their mental and physical well-being. | Source

Playgrounds and Childhood Development

I just read The New York Times article “Can a Playground Be Too Safe?” by John Tierney and couldn’t help but think about my own children’s playgrounds.

We live in Gwinnett County, Georgia, which has won several awards for their parks system. And although we pay for it in our taxes each year, our family greatly benefits by having access to many parks within a few miles in any direction we go. After reading the article above, I can’t help but think how these playgrounds in Gwinnett County are so different from the playgrounds I had growing up.

The playgrounds of my youth were filled with swings, monkey bars, slides and teeter totters. The parks in Gwinnett feature almost all of those things and more, including rock-climbing walls and swiveling chairs and stand-up things that spin a child (or adult when I feel like it) just by moving body weight. Most of the playgrounds I've seen feature foam padding to prevent injuries when children fall and are awash in brightly colored elements. (Honestly, I’m not sure if I like the foam or not, I can’t help but think that germs stay there a lot more on the surface than on traditional biodegradable dirt and grass.)

"Interestingly, the perception that a playground is 'safe' may cause children (and parents) to act carelessly, potentially leading to injury. By contrast, when risks are obvious, children are likely to proceed more cautiously".

--Kerala Taylor,

Visit Kaboom! for pictures of some of the most kid-friendly "dangerous" playgrounds around the world.

Tierney’s article notes,“Children need to encounter risks and overcome fears on the playground” explaining that even major falls and injuries “rarely cause permanent damage, either physically or emotionally." I tend to agree with Tierney's position. Children need to conquer fears and make off their goals. The smile of a chidl who went across the monkey bars for the first time is proof enough that children enjoy taking risks and making accomplishments.

Despite the fact that the parks in my area seem both safe while still allowing for fun, fastness and heights, I also enjoy the classic such as a twisty slide and the traditional see-saw.

So what do YOU think of children safety on the ground? Do you think we should shelter children and remove things from the playground that are tall or pose a possible safety risk? How much risk is worth it for childhood development?

The Berkeley Adventure Playground

The Berkeley Adventure Playground (Berkeley, CA) is a kid-designed playground that mixes fun and adventure, and teaches kids how to be safe in a potentially dangerous environment.

For more information on the kid-build and award-winning playground, visit the an article on HuffingtonPost or visit the park's official home page or watch a video on the park at

Kid-built fort at the Berkely Adventure Playground; notice the zip-line in the top left of photo.
Kid-built fort at the Berkely Adventure Playground; notice the zip-line in the top left of photo. | Source

What Do You Think?

Is the average playground too dangerous?

See results

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)