Readers, did you grow up with a merry-go-round at the park? And now?
Interestingly, I couldn’t find any laws that state merry-go-rounds must go, only reams of regulations as to how high they can be, how fast they can spin, etc. So maybe their near-extinction is simply due to a combination of excess rules, along with the specter of lawsuits. From one law firm’s website:
If your child was severely injured from playing on a merry go round, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and pain and suffering if the equipment is not up to code. For a free playground accident lawsuit case evaluation, fill out the simple form below and your case will be reviewed within 24 hours.
Which brings us to modern-day merry-go-round design. In order to abide by regulations and stave off suits, this company created a merry-go-round that “encourages children to sit down while the ride is in motion.”
And then there are the do-good groups trying to keep kids safe (possibly by immobilizing them). As this site notes:
“It only takes a second to collide with a moving swing, merry-go-round or teeter-totter.”
Isn’t that also true of a wall, by the way? Or a refrigerator? Or a giant (really giant) squirrel? Why make it seem like playgrounds are so dangerous? And it goes on to warn:
“How kids use the monkey bars, swings, merry-go-round, slides, etc., and the way they interact with others on the playground determine whether or not they will get hurt. Because children’s imaginations run wild, kids are at high risk, especially around their peers. Left alone, kids are apt to take chances, too.”
Gracious! That means, I guess, that we should NEVER leave them alone with their peers! That sounds dangerously like…playing!
Finally, here are instructions for how to dismantle a merry-go-round (with GREAT comments). And a lovely post at Think Banned Thoughts about a pre-k’s fight to save its 25-year-old playground equipment SUDDENLY deemed too fun to endure.
Er…too dangerous. – L.