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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:

“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.

  • You can’t bubble wrap kids, I think they should stay!

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  • This is crazy! Some of my favourite playground memories were on the monkey bars

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  • I fell off as a kid and knocked my head. And yet her I am.. everything within reason!

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  • I have personally seen a student break her arm (she was a prep) by falling from the monkey bars. But when she came back to school all she wanted to do was get back up there. Kids need to climb things and explore their limits although I do worry about it happening to my kid as he loves climbing.

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  • No – kids have to learn to take risks so they know where their limits are! You don’t need monkey bars to break something – just running and falling over will break a wrist. And a broken wrist doesn’t set you up for a bad life. I brake my wrist at age 10 and 65 years later can still do most of what others my age can do if not more. For heavens sake, let children grow up an learn what fun is and what they can and can’t do within their own limitations.

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  • Allowing children to take risks is part of healthy brain development. There should be supervision but I don’t believe they should be removed all together!

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  • I think they are lots of fun

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  • Don’t at all believe in banning monkey bars.
    I’m actually a huge fan of parks & playgrounds becoming more adventurous & encouraging more movement, creativity, risk taking & challenges for kids. So many play spaces have been made overly safe – and kids are losing vital skills of risk taking, assessing, trying and testing limits. Of course any activity could result in injury – but I’d rather my kids be active & having fun & developing and ‘may’ have an accident – than not playing at all or in sanitised too safe parks, that are often boring for them anyway.

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  • Seriously, monkey bars have always been and still are one of the most popular pieces of playground equipment. Banning them seems like OVERKILL.
    What… it’s impossible to fall from those spider web things??
    What will they ban next??
    Let’s see. Tan bark can poke you in the foot… better ban it. Sand can get in your eyes… better ban it.
    Maybe they should concentrate on providing appropriate shade in council parks to promote sun smart.

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  • My mum broke her arm on monkey bars back in the 1940s. It was pretty common for a kid to break an arm mucking about in trees, on bikes or even on monkey bars! Kids will always hurt themselves because their bodies are growing and they are still learning coordination of their limbs. Please let’s keep parks interesting and fun – our current kids are going to end up like the adults in WALL-E at this rate.

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  • Agree, it’s unsupervised, incorrect use. Our parents spent time with ya and showed us, if not played with us too.
    Check the records from60-25 years ago for hospitals, bet their were hardly any injuries.
    Kids hurt themselves because they sit on the couch and rarely go out to play so haven’t learnt how to roll, tumblr, take a fall. Too much cotton wool.
    Ps: Two time hospital visit mum and it wasn’t a monkey bar incident.

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  • Perhaps parents could take their kids to parks more often and teach them to use the monkey bars correctly instead. That way they recognise the signs of their hands about to skip and can learn to jump down safely.

    Really people need to remember a parent is there to guide their kids through life, if a kid cant use monkey bars safely then the parent should teach the kid not to use them, not take away the fun fr kids who can.

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  • If we continue to wrap out kids in cotton wool how are they going to survive in the real world
    The nanny state has to stop


    • Totally agree. You could hurt yourself on almost anything, but you can’t just ban it all! That’s not a great solution :/

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  • Personally – NO. They’re great for building upper body strength and I know both my kids love them. Accidents happen and kids will continue to break bones and injure themselves no matter what we take away. Growing up I didn’t know anyone that broke a bone from falling of the monkey bars. As an adult I know 2 kids who have but surely with a growing population statistics like this are going to grow too

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  • “Monkey bars were ok when I was a kid 60 years ago, but they’re not an appropriate form of play equipment” – um why? They are brilliant for upper body strength, coordination and heck they are just plain fun to play on. I’m tired of the fun police, I want them off this planet

    Reply

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