This popular playground equipment is about to become the next victim of the fun police, but are monkey bars really too dangerous for our kids?
Monkey bars are set to be removed from playgrounds around Australia after child healthcare experts claimed that they are one of the leading causes of injuries in young children The Daily Mail reports. With emergency rooms crowded enough, it was found that there has been a 41% increase in hospital presentations as a result of injuries sustained on monkey bars prompting the push to have them banned.
No Longer Appropriate
Despite efforts to improve monkey bar safety, including a reduction in the height of the equipment to 2.2m and the softening of the surface beneath, Professor David Eager from UTS, chairperson of the committee looking into the ban, still believes they will need to be phased out in favour of space nets and spider webs.
Speaking to The Age, Mr Eager said, “Monkey bars were ok when I was a kid 60 years ago, but they’re not an appropriate form of play equipment. Most councils and schools have been pulling them out and replacing them with spatial nets, but not as quickly as we would like.”
Ban Is Ridiculous
In a segment on Today about the ban, most people were vocally opposed to monkey bars disappearing from our playgrounds. Some of the comments included:
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“Just ban everything stick our kids in a bubble wrapped box with an ipad for the rest of their lives… ”
“Let’s take away a source of fitness and exercise for kids. Let’s replace it with recharging docks and more apps so our younger generation can contribute to child obesity figures. We have all done things as kids that may have been questionable and may have caused an injury, but it’s these life experiences that we learn from.”
“Why don’t we just stick them in a glass cabinet and just look at your kids that way they will never endanger themselves…boring. Life comes with ups and downs, its called resilience. You’re not doing the kids any favours by wrapping them up as you won’t be here forever to look after them”
Safety Gone Too Far?
Monkey bars have been a playground staple for so long that we can’t help wondering if this is safety gone too far. After all, can we really wrap kids in cotton wool forever? Climbing a tree or taking a gymnastics class could be just as dangerous, with the potential for similar injuries. However, we think it is the unsupervised, incorrect usage of monkey bars that makes them a culprit in children’s upper limb injuries. It’s a difficult one, but we’re pretty sure most kids will still find a way to injure themselves at the playground even with a monkey bar phase out.
Do you think monkey bars should be banned to prevent injury? Let us know in the comments.