There are some small things that make me glad I don’t live in the USA. Just the other day I went to a playground with my 3yo son, and we played on seesaws, crazy climbing frames, and even a flying fox. It was a blast for both of us.
This morning I read a post about playground design in New York. The ideas look very cool:
Developers of the Lower Manhattan project envision groups of children collaborating, for instance, loading containers with sand, hoisting them up with pulleys and then lowering them down to wagons waiting to be wheeled off to another part of the park.
However it was the rest of the article that saddened me:
The sad thing is that some of the most dangerous playground toys also induced superb play. Remember the see-saw? I used to spend hours at my Canadian cottage playing on my uncle’s massive, 12-foot-long see-saw. Seesaws were the best training in basic physics you could possibly imagine, because you could scoot up and down the seesaw to figure out where precisely you needed to sit to be able to counterbalance a lighter child. Or you could stack a bunch of smaller kids on one side and see how much bigger a kid you could lift in the air.
So true and so sad that occasional injury can destroy fun for all children. I’d never wish injury on my own children nor anyone else’s. However if Ollie broke his arm on a seesaw or flying fox, I wouldn’t be asking the local council to tear the playground down, nor looking for compensation. Accidents happen.
I really can’t get my head around the mindset of litigationin the USA. Where is the intent to injure in a seesaw? Is it really, honestly the case that the majority of parents in the USA would sue if their child is injured in a playground accident, or is it just a visible minority? Help me out here. I’d really like to understand it, and understand why the mindset is so different here in New Zealand.