Sunday, January 8, 2017
A Sense of Risk: Culture, Trampolines and Mexico (Parque de España, Mexico City)
When I was a little kid in Illinois, I remember some neighbors had toy trampolines in their backyards. But by the time I was eight or 10, they had all disappeared, and I remember my mother telling me they'd been banned as toys because too many people were getting injured.
Although I can't find any record via Google that a ban actually occurred in the 1970ws, there's plenty of information today regarding the risks of casual trampolining and the precautions people should take. That's why it was both alarming and refreshing when I saw these folks setting up a big trampoline for kids to play on in a public park in Mexico City.
Of course, safety is crucial. Playgrounds should be safe spaces. And I'm not saying that trampolines without safety belts and mats are safe toys. But I sometimes get the feeling that the average American playground is too safe.
Does every swing and jungle gym need a mat under it? Isn't it sometimes OK if a kid, while playing, gets a scrape or a bruise now and then?