Long Island school tries to cut down on playground accidents

We can all agree that it would be best to minimize accidents involving children at school.Playground accidents can prove to be debilitating and affect a child for his or her entire life. In recent years, parents and schools have stepped up their efforts to provide safe places for children to play at school. But can these efforts go too far, preventing children from — well, from playing like children?

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One Long Island school is testing the limits of this issue. In an attempt to make a dent in the number of injuries and emergency room visits, a middle school in Port Washington is banning many common activities on playgrounds: rough games of tag, cartwheels, and many types of common playground balls such as soccer balls and footballs.

In many cases, regular balls have been replaced by softer foam counterparts; cartwheels and similar activities are permitted if a coach is monitoring the activity. School officials say that a recent spate of injuries on their playground has led them to make these changes.

Not surprisingly, many of the kids aren’t thrilled by the new policy. They say that they sit behind their desks all day, and now that recess doesn’t allow them the outlets they once had to get out and blow off some steam, school will seem all the more oppressive.

Parents say that safety is important, but many aren’t sure if this is the best way to increase it. It remains to be seen if this policy will actually reduce the number of children injured in playground accidents in New York.

Source: CBS New York, “Long Island Middle School Bans Footballs, Other Recreational Items,” Oct. 7, 2013

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