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Ear to the Ground

Recess: Not What It Used to Be

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Posted on Jan 7, 2012
ruminatrix (CC-BY)

It seems the schoolyard is more boring than ever. Researchers found that lackluster playground designs brought to us by strict equipment safety rules and low budgets have made outdoor playtime unappealing to toddlers at child care centers around the nation. The need to meet stringent academic requirements is leading schools to underemphasize physical play too. —ARK

MedPage Today:

Strict safety rules for equipment and low budgets at childcare centers were largely blamed for playgrounds that don’t make kids feel like playing, Kristen Copeland, MD, of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and colleagues reported.

… The other main problem cited was pressure to focus on academic readiness at the expense of physically active play time, Copeland’s group noted.

… [T]hree-quarters of U.S. kids attend childcare at ages 3 to 5, where studies have shown that nearly all their time is spent sedentary.

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, January 8, 2012 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment

Re: hetero

I’m not calling it a PLOT in the first place. My point is that the reality of the danger is skewed by special interests. If you want a bicycle helmet for your child or yourself, go ahead and get one. We don’t need an ordinance mandating that! They attempted to put one in place where I live, it’s OVERRATED.

Industries routinely make mountains out of molehills and they endorse these types of mandates all the time, YET they also (if it protects their pocketbooks) endorse LESS regulations regarding issues that matter much more so.

It’s upside down, and no one NEEDS TO BE COMPLETELY SAFE 100% of the time! That’s crazy. We see the same thing with laws “keeping Americans safe”. It’s to the point of ridiculousness! And it’s pushed by monied interests.

Your odds of being killed by a terrorist is practically zero.

“Taking these figures into account, a rough calculation suggests that in the last five years, your chances of being killed by a terrorist are bout one in 20 million. This compares annual risk of dying in a car accident of 1 in 19,000; drowning in a bathtub at 1 in 800,000; dying in a building fire at 1 in 99,000; or being struck by lightning at 1 in 5,500,000. In other words, in the last five years you were four times more likely to be struck by lightning than killed by a terrorist.”
http://reason.com/archives/2011/09/06/how-scared-of-terrorism-should

Again, we are making all kinds of laws to “protect ourselves” and these are MANDATES that are not needed and driven by monied interests and often these same organize groups to endorse issues which pad their pocketbooks rather than have any pressing nature in all reality. It’s fear mongering, plain and simple.

I don’t worry about getting hit by lightning and I don’t worry about falling off my bike and banging my head…..it’s MY HEAD….if I’M worried about it, I’ll get a helmet.

People are encouraged, cajoled and required to be “safe” all the time. You can’t create an environment of 100% safety 100% of the time. And yeah, I think brain injury from falling off your bike isn’t that likely, and a nog on my head will heal. That’s life.

The only way one could keep up with this overrated safety anxiety prevalent in our culture is to pad a closet and stay in there with a doctor on call.(better eat cold sandwiches, don’t use that dangerous stove you could get burnt, don’t use a knife to cut the bread - that’s dangerous too),  It goes to far, and there is no REALITY in zero accidents.

In my state there’s no such thing as a “car ACCIDENT”, there are only “car CRASHES” and supposedly(according to the mantra) ALL CAR CRASHES ARE AVOIDABLE, in one way or another. (think insurance comp. here)

I better get going….gotta go pick up a roll of padding and get that closet ready…..times a wastin’. Where to find a doctor that makes house calls - that’s going to be a problem (he/she may not want to travel could have a “car crash!”)

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By MeHere, January 8, 2012 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

I don’t know what we’re raising in this country but it’s not exactly children. At best, it’s more like dog training. As someone said before me, children’s safety is another commodity.  Children have always needed the same things basically: nurturing parenting, good nutrition, adequate supervision for their age, and enough unstructured time. Our society is providing only fragments of all that and usually within a stressful environment. No amount of material goods, a constant supply of entertainment, and tons of safety rules can replace the basic needs of children. It’s impossible for schools to make up for what is lacking.

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By heterochromatic, January 8, 2012 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

Out~~~ bicycle helmet requirements a plot by the moneyed interests????? Tell me
I’m not understanding what you’re saying. Please tell me that.

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, January 8, 2012 at 1:21 am Link to this comment

We live in a country that is obsessed with safety on the one hand and lax regarding it in another. It is always one of extreme stances instead of balance.

This is an instance of an extreme safety position (selling daycares new equipment to keep the kiddies safe), in contrast our food industry was operating with almost no oversight! Apparently, it’s no big deal if toddlers get salmonella, but god forbid they would get a scraped knee.

If they can sell you a bicycle helmet for your child, they’ll lobby for laws to make it a requirement - all under the guise of safety. (I fail to see how that’s going to help if they break their neck, I mean what’s a parent going to say….thank god the kid doesn’t have a lump on their head?)

On the other hand, consider the many food recalls we have in a week (because they’re finally checking -remember Bush eliminated inspectors)..... why..because they lobbied for less “regulation”.

The whole damn thing is upside down because of monied interests taking precedence over society’s wants or needs. It’s the same with our schools, our healthcare, our driving laws, the MIC, marijuana…....etc.

It has NOTHING to do with our actual safety.

Our children were raised in an extremist “safety” environment and it shows in how they assess situations. I talk to young adults routinely and they frequently don’t KNOW how to differentiate the two….. the valid safety issue and the bogus one.

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Egomet Bonmot's avatar

By Egomet Bonmot, January 8, 2012 at 12:24 am Link to this comment

I’ll add $0.02.  “Last Child in the Woods” has an excellent chapter on the virtues of a vacant dirt lot, splinters and rusty nails and all.  Joe-Bob says check it out.

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By Fearless, January 7, 2012 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is sad. I, too, am glad to see these more subtle trends, particularly ones affecting children, brought to our attention.

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By heterochromatic, January 7, 2012 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment

I doubt that anyone is going to comment on this, but it’s very good that you saw
fir to run it.

thank you.

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