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Forums > Social Discussion > should anyone be alowed to play

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nucleon
nucleon

newbie
Location: Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Member Since: 29th Oct 2004
Total posts: 404
Posted:I mean Just look what can hapen to you whenm youre playing
not just children and not just with fire
but playing in general
look its dangerous
juggle weavesmiley ubbrollsmile
see?


so you think Im not a newbie? Ok I'll be the King of the newbies. Nucleon the king of all noobs

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Bumfro
Bumfro

Its a bum with an afro...
Location: Newcastle NSW
Member Since: 11th Apr 2005
Total posts: 223
Posted:great story, compelling and rich....

Racism is a weapon of mass destruction

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Gherkin
Gherkin

Inventor

Member Since: 6th Apr 2005
Total posts: 117
Posted:Safety is ridiculous nowadays. It's rare to find swings in playgrounds... and if you find them, they have chains covered in rubbery stuff! angry

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nucleon
nucleon

newbie
Location: Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Member Since: 29th Oct 2004
Total posts: 404
Posted:and with cushioning beneath them

so you think Im not a newbie? Ok I'll be the King of the newbies. Nucleon the king of all noobs

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Charles
Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted:Do you have children, Gherkin. smile

After catching my finger in the chains of a swing when I was a child, I will do every thing feasable to stop the child that I love from hurting themselves in a preventable way like that.

Sure, I can't stop him falling over and scraping up his knees, or bashing his head when he trips, but it doesn't mean I don't try.

Isn't that what unconditional love is all about? wink


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vanize
vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas
Member Since: 21st Aug 2001
Total posts: 3899
Posted:actually one thing I REALLY like about the germans is they still have complex and very cool public playgrounds that children are free to hurt themselves on all they like.

the world is getting ridiculous with safety paranoia. let people live a little - life is inherently dangerous, and that is a valuable lesson for kids to learn.


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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MiG
MiG

Self-Flagellation Expert
Location: Bogged at CG
Member Since: 16th Apr 2004
Total posts: 3415
Posted:yeah. Charles, to use you as an example (only because you're the only one thats given something i can use), you learnt to be careful with chains form that experience, im guessing. Sure, you can tell someone 'be careful with chains', but sometimes it takes experience to teach the lesson fully.

Problem with experience is, you get the test, then the lesson, which makes it hard.


"beg beg grovel beg grovel"
"master"
--FSA

"There was an arse there, i couldn't help myself"
--Rougie

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:There's a lot of us who approve of some of the safety emphasis that's around these days.

Some of it does seem to go too far on occasion- that doesn't mean it's all rubbish.

The main thing I find annoying in connection with this issue is the way some peoples reaction to anything involving health and safety is to dismiss it as 'nanny state' or 'PC gone mad'.

A lot of it is actually very good; I think it's great that employers now have to go to lengths to ensure that the workplace is made reasonably safe, for example.

If we can get past the afformentioned knee-jerk dismissal of H&S then we can actually get on with the task of sorting out the good from the bad.

For example-

Written by: Gherkin and nucleon



Safety is ridiculous nowadays. It's rare to find swings in playgrounds... and if you find them, they have chains covered in rubbery stuff!
......................................
and with cushioning beneath them




Cushioning is something I was talking about with a local playworker- I'd always assumed it was a good thing as kids coming off a swing onto their heads would be less likely to fracture their skulls- he reckoned that rubberised playground cushioning (the yielding black stuff) was actually responsible for causing joint issues, as a child landing on it does not 'slide' (as they would on concrete).

He reckoned that it basically 'jarred' their knees when they come to a sudden stop.

It's an interesting point- however, it's got to be tempered by the fact that it will help cut head injuries.

To decide whether, ultimately, it's a good or a bad thing, requires objective investigation and assessment, taking into account statistics of head injuries/knee problems for the two surfaces.

ie I can't say whether rubberised play surfaces are good or bad; but surely the main thing is to get past knee-jerk reaction against H&S- realise that it has good and bad aspects, and then take it from there?


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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vanize
vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas
Member Since: 21st Aug 2001
Total posts: 3899
Posted:well I'm quite sure unicyles should be outlawed if we are going to be absolutely safe. what would you recomend as a good minimum age for unicycle use?

-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:I'll make you a deal Vanize; I'll take the time to answer your question, if you first have a little go at putting yourself in my position, and try to predict what my answer would be- and then post your prediction here.

Fair enough?


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Analemma
Analemma

enthusiast
Location: West LA
Member Since: 22nd May 2003
Total posts: 384
Posted:Written by:
decide whether, ultimately, it's a good or a bad thing, requires objective investigation and assessment, taking into account statistics of head injuries/knee problems for the two surfaces.




Keeping people busy ... biggrin
Why not keep the research to the people who know it best - the kids ubbrollsmile
The clever kid breaks its finger in the swing and avoids it the next time.
The not so clever kid will break more bones until it learns (This is where I would see myself if I count the number of times I was in a hospital ubbloco)
And the stupid kid will never learn it. Not on a safe playground and not in everydays traffic rolleyes
Playgrounds are a good example imo. Of course everyone wants to help their friends to avoid pain - but ultimately everyone has to make the choice by themselves... there are many people out there who were educated in a save environment and this way have no idea of what dangers or a loss really are. They see it on their televisions prime time and are happy to live in a better world thinking they are better people. Dreamers ubbidea

My grandparents were brought up in a post war environment (loads of sharp objects around and if you touch the wrong thing you might trigger something ungood) - this way they learned how to become responsible individuals; of course one will get scars but at least they know why they got them....

Im off (to SF ubblove )

hug

andy


To learn - read. To know - write. To master - teach . . .

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Fine_Rabid_Dog
Internet Hate Machine
Location: They seek him here, they seek ...
Member Since: 26th May 2004
Total posts: 10530
Posted:Written by: MiG

but sometimes it takes experience to teach the lesson fully.




"dont play with guns" *bang* "oh, the kids dead... " "yeah, but he learned his lesson" confused does that make any sense?


The existance of flamethrowers says that someone, somewhere, at sometime said "I need to set that thing on fire, but it's too far away."

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:

Written by: PoiBoxII


Playgrounds are a good example imo. Of course everyone wants to help their friends to avoid pain - but ultimately everyone has to make the choice by themselves... there are many people out there who were educated in a save environment and this way have no idea of what dangers or a loss really are. They see it on their televisions prime time and are happy to live in a better world thinking they are better people. Dreamers ubbidea

My grandparents were brought up in a post war environment (loads of sharp objects around and if you touch the wrong thing you might trigger something ungood) - this way they learned how to become responsible individuals; of course one will get scars but at least they know why they got them....





You make it sound like broken bones and scars are necessary to produce well rounded responsible individuals.

They're not- there's plenty of wounded and scarred individuals who are total idiots; equally there's plenty of people who've rarely been injured who are quite capeable of both enjoying their lives, and assessing risk.

I don't think anyone here is talking about removing all risk from the lives of young people- that is simply not possible.

It's about striking a good balance, and letting them run off and play in grossly unsafe environments is not a good balance.


Playgrounds are for playing in, they'll never be 100% guaranteed totally safe, but, if there are ways to cut down the risks without killing the play aspect, then IMO, that's good.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Gherkin
Gherkin

Inventor

Member Since: 6th Apr 2005
Total posts: 117
Posted:Written by: Charles


Do you have children, Gherkin. smile



After catching my finger in the chains of a swing when I was a child, I will do every thing feasable to stop the child that I love from hurting themselves in a preventable way like that.



Sure, I can't stop him falling over and scraping up his knees, or bashing his head when he trips, but it doesn't mean I don't try.



Isn't that what unconditional love is all about? wink





I don't have children, but I work in a child care centre... As a janitor. wink



I realise that children may be injured using equipment such as swings, see-saws, climbing frames and what-not, but being fairly young, (Only 15), I remember how much more fun could be had in playgrounds before everything was recognised as a safety issue.



On the issue of safety, we light things on fire and spin them around... ubbloco In a safe way of course! wink I'm not saying that children shouldn't be looked after and kept out of danger, but I wish there were still swings without the rubber so that I could have a little fun on them just like I did in the old days... ubbrollsmile



On the other hand, That rubber stuff that's used in playgrounds nowadays is really really cool for practicing staff on, the staff will kindof bounce off it... but if you jump off a swing onto rubber matting, it's much easier to fall flat on your face than if it was pinebark. Also, the rubber can give you friction burns when you fall on it, but pinebark will graze. I think pinebark is better than the rubber, but it's really high maintenance and the rubber is maintenance free. I guess that's the price to pay for all of the modern technology available. cool

EDITED_BY: Gherkin (1115862682)


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vanize
vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas
Member Since: 21st Aug 2001
Total posts: 3899
Posted:Written by: onewheeldave


I'll make you a deal Vanize; I'll take the time to answer your question, if you first have a little go at putting yourself in my position, and try to predict what my answer would be- and then post your prediction here.



Fair enough?





actually I wasnt expecting an answer at all - was just being a bit absurd to make a point, and your post happened to be convenient



personally I'm all for the freedom of being allowed to maim yourself.



my parents were of the philosophy that i'd either learn to do something or learn a lesson from failing. they let me do all sorts of thing quite independantly. by the time I was 6 I worked in our dark room alone and was even allowed to mix the chemicals by myself. by age 7, I was sailing small craft all on my own without the parents even watching. I was allowed to start my own fires if I wanted, work with the power saw, whatever. the parents would show me how to use whatever, give me a couple trial runs, and then let me have at it to my hearts content.



and that is how I'll raise my kids - I hope.



I may even get them a unicycle just for grins.


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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fluffy napalm fairy
fluffy napalm fairy

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Brum / Dorset / Fairy Land
Member Since: 12th Dec 2001
Total posts: 3638
Posted:ubblove

Vanize I just fell for you big-time wink biggrin

i was brought up on a farm. I, and my 5 siblings, could drive by the time we were about 8/9 (in fields), would come home and take the horses out for hours and hours before we were 10, would make fires, build dens, climb barns, throw ouorselves about and have far too much fun. biggrin

We got muddy, messy, cold, wet, hungry, happy, scraped, cut, bitten, kicked (by various animals!) etc.....

And we all survived!
What's the big deal?

If someone's always there to protect you you will not learn to protect yourself.

We also learned to look out for each other, how not to fall out of trees, how to keep out of the way of the moody ram, how to get over gates without landing on our heads, how to build fires without setting ourselves alight - I could go on........

I hope I can give my children that oppertunity as well.

Sure some people get hurt. But some people will ALWAYS get hurt - we are not invincable and it's not possible to prevent harm completely even in a totally cushioned world!


Geologists do it in the dirt................ spank

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:I'll just point out the obvious- that you guys who were brought up by parents who happily let you do high-risk stuff, and survived; are going to tend to see it as a good thing.

As an example of the other side- I've just watched a docu on a guy travelling the world investigating alternative healers in an effort to get his legs to work again. As a child he'd climbed 100 foot up a tree and the branch broke. That's the last time he walked.

Do you think that he might have a different perspective on the issue? How much do you think he wishes he'd not climbed that tree?

Vanize- from your description above, it does sound like you did a lot of high-risk stuff.

FNF- what you're talking about is pretty normal; it's certainly stuff I did, messing around in the woods, lighting fires etc, etc.

I'm not, and I don't think anyone else is either; talking about eliminating all risk- it's neither desirable or possible.

We're talking about minimising it to a sensible level. For example, when it comes to playgrounds, maybe it's only 1 in 10,000 kids who go there who are going to take a bad fall which leaves them immobile from the neck down for the rest of their lives.

If putting down a soft surface under the high stuff knocks that back to 1 in 50,000, and if it has no negative effects elsewhere, then I say do it.

To be honest, I'm not even sure that we're actually disagreeing about anything here.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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pricklyleaf
pricklyleaf

with added berries
Location: Manchester
Member Since: 7th Mar 2005
Total posts: 1365
Posted:I work in an after school club and we have to be sooo careful about everything (for fear of being complained about, sued etc) I think it has gone over the top. Just to bring in another example now-its slightly different but still about the same sort of thing. The children are not allowed to make sandwiches and we're not allowed to make them for tham as a snack as the care commision for some very strange reason has deemed it too high a risk activity- for hygiene reasons. This means all the kids can eat is crisps and biscuits and occasionally (very infrequently) fruit-it is ridiculous! It has also been proven that the rising cases of asthma is due to the high cleanliness of enviroment the kids are in. But to come back to the playing point I think we are verging on going too far, obviously its important to ensure safety, but kids fall over and hurt themselves all the time- its an important learning experience- people will always manage to hurt themselves. Its also part of the learning to walk process.I think things like the bark or rubber flooring in playgrounds is a good idea- and the bark chips especially create a nicer atmosphere, but the not allowed swing thing is ridiculous- they were my faveorite thing in the world when i was younger. There is also a significant difference between the damage of someone breaking their finger and the damage done by someone cracking their head open. I think this should be remebered-I think this is where things can go a bit over the top.

It is horrible seeing children hurt themselves but it is an important part of growing up- its how we learn its not a good idea to walk into tables of hit ourswlves spinning big balls of fire around (well I guess some of us never learn that! wink )


Live like there is no tomorrow,
dance like nobody is watching
and hula hoop like wiggling will save the world.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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drakematrix
drakematrix

Maker of the Cheesecake
Location: Akron, OH
Member Since: 14th Oct 2004
Total posts: 174
Posted:What I'm not seeing is what exactly is the problem with the rubber on the swings? As long as there are still swings and they still work, what's the harm? I'm surprised they'd say that the rubber mats cause joint damage. It seems to be that rubber is a shock absorber, and should prevent the joint problems. Of course, I can see some serious problems with people slipping on wet rubber.

What exactly do I have to light on fire to get you to notice me?

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Gherkin
Gherkin

Inventor

Member Since: 6th Apr 2005
Total posts: 117
Posted:If you try running on rubber and stopping suddenly, or jumping off a swing onto rubber you'll see what people mean. wink

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vanize
vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas
Member Since: 21st Aug 2001
Total posts: 3899
Posted:Written by: onewheeldave


Do you think that he might have a different perspective on the issue? How much do you think he wishes he'd not climbed that tree?



Vanize- from your description above, it does sound like you did a lot of high-risk stuff.







actually I have a strong opinion on this, as you might suspect.



yes, I have done a lot of high risk stuff.



the number of stitches I've accumulated in my life totals over 100 by now, and I am probably lucky it isn't a lot higher. I've got a chronically messed up ankle from being a skater during my teenage years. all my upper front teeth have been broken, my shoulders are more or less screwed from repetitve stress injuries, I can't feel fully a quater of my left leg because of severed nerves, I've come within a hairs width of drowning at least half a dozen times, I've fallen in excess of 10 meters, once foundmy collar bone poking me in the ear, done the "agony of defeat" tumble all the way down a black run i took too fast when it was too icy, come within minutes of bleeding to death a hundred yards offshore, been washed out to sea out of sight of land with only a surfboard and wetsuit and didn't make landfall till 12 hours later, been thrown onto coral by a wave twice my height, watched a friend get bitten by a shark (which was actually kind of funny really), swept off the deck of a racing yacht in gail just before its mast broke, puked my guts out because of high altitude sickness, and many other things.



But at 35 I'm in better shape than 95% of 18 year olds, I can tell stories all day that I do not have to embelish much to make entertaining, and I've got enough experience to deal with just about any situation that comes my way.



ok, so if it were possible, I'd arrange it so that I still had my original front teeth, but I would never trade all my days on a bicycle to avoid getting into that wreck with the car that one time.



and I wish I hadn't severed that major nerve in my leg because that is still and will always be a drag, but no way would I dream of not ever having surfed to avoid that.



wishing you never got on your bike that day, gone out in the surf that morning, or decided to climb a tree is pointless.



My father died climbing Mount Everest 11 years ago at the age of 67 after a high risk life that included tecnical climbing, spelunking, and riding on the space shuttle. I'm well satisfied that he died on his own terms and in his own way. He's my hero. When he died he was still one of the most physically capable men I have ever met despite being a senior citizen. I would never for a moment wish he hadn't gone to try himself against Everest.



if you do things, sometimes things happen. accept the risks and the possible consequences or do not do them. Be safe and smart, but always always be free to do it. living afraid of doing is worse than doing and paying the consequences if you ask me. just do it right and learn your skill before you really test it. and if you don't know how to do something, go learn from someone who does. injury from stupidity or lack of forethought is natural selection.



just to be clear - I am consistantly answering one wheel dave's posts, but that does not mean I disagree with him completely or even in part, just that he keeps egging me on to my next point. wink



and I agree we really aren't disagreeing about anything. putting sand under a jungle gym makes far more logic than putting concrete under it! minimizing risk is good, completely avoiding it or removing it so someone else has to avoid it is bad.



I just think it is ridiculous that kids aren't allowed to have a real playground anymore.


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:My intention is far from trying to egg you on Vanize; some of what you say I agree with, some I disagree with, and the rest I'm simply trying to clarify and understand.

I read your list of injuries and experiences and my first thought is that it's pretty extreme- you've been very lucky.

In all honesty I'd have no desire to live that kind of life- to me it sounds out of balance; but, if you're happy with it, that's fine.

Let me make clear that I've not spent my life wrapped up in cotton wool feeling too afraid to take risks.

I've done the run down the ice slide and bvroke my wrist at the end; I've come close to drowning on one occasion.

At 38, most of my family consider me a bit of a nutter because I ride one-wheeled bikes off-road and spin fire etc.

I guess the difference between me and you is that, although I do take risks, it's to a lesser extent than you.

In part this is because I love all the physical stuff I do so much, that I want to be doing it when I'm 70; it's important for me to respect my body and work within its limits.

I also seem to live more in the moment than most people and for that reason I don't want to be stuck with a broken bone for 6 weeks.

The thing is, I'm totally happy with my life- the fact that I'm not driven to take greater risks is fine by me, I just get on with enjoying the stuff I do do.

Some people are just destined for, and driven to, a life of adventure and extreme risk- if that's their choice then so be it.

Equally, there's a lot of people who just aren't up for it; that's fine too.

As a child I was pretty wimpy- I hated being forced to play sports and do football. I actually took Latin, purely because those who did could opt out of sports.

I've not suffered from that- after leaving school I discovered other forms of physical expression that were non-competitive, and ultimately discovered circus skills/spinning /unicycling etc.

I've little doubt that at 38 I'm in way better shape and health that many of my classmates who were good at all the sports stuff.

I don't think anything I've said above is disagreeing with you Vanize; but one thing you said does puzzle me-

Written by: vanize

I just think it is ridiculous that kids aren't allowed to have a real playground anymore.




Maybe things are different where you are, but over here kids have playgrounds- what in your opinion constitutes a real playground?


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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vanize
vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas
Member Since: 21st Aug 2001
Total posts: 3899
Posted:in the USA, many many playgrounds have been removed in the last 20 years or so because of insurance liabilities to the city or school sponsoring them. What does survive tend to be very poor imitations of the wonderful expanses of jungle gyms, slides, swings, and other stuff that was around in the 70s when I was growing up.

-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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nucleon
nucleon

newbie
Location: Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Member Since: 29th Oct 2004
Total posts: 404
Posted:apart from the physical damage the kiddies good get, if you learn kid to play at a young age they never will be doing else on work!!

so you think Im not a newbie? Ok I'll be the King of the newbies. Nucleon the king of all noobs

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Sethis
Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University
Member Since: 16th May 2005
Total posts: 1762
Posted:What irritates me is the idiocy of *some* schools attitudes towards what constitutes "risk".

I mean, in the papers the other day there was an article about people having been banned from guess what...?

Not throwing rocks at each other. Not playing full-contact rugby. Not pushing each other off walls. But *Making daisy chains*

???? WTF????

Sorry, but how the heck did that ever pass through the "Abstract ideas" stage and into the "real application" stage?

(Apparantly it means that there is a slightly higher risk of the children getting "nits")

I mean, OK, pad the ground a bit, don't put broken glass on the climbing frames etc. But banning DAISY CHAINS???

The world is insane, and I can no longer live in it. (Anyone read "So long and thanks for all the Fish"?)


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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nearly_all_gone
nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton
Member Since: 3rd Aug 2004
Total posts: 1626
Posted:Kids like danger. The fun of going on a swing is the feeling of danger.

If kids aren't given somewhere to exercise this appetite for danger which feels suitably dangerous, they'll look elsewhere for it.

I say better it's within a relatively flat area with no spikey bits, hidden broken glass etc etc. I think it's unrealistic to assume that kids will learn how fragile their body is if they are not allowed to damage it.

Of course I'm not suggesting kids be allowed to climb 100ft trees - but perhaps if said kids has somewhere else to play, something else to do which fulfilled the desire which causes them to climp 100ft up a tree (such as trying to stand up on a swing, just to make a little comparison) then that should be allowed.

Rubber on swings makes this very hard tongue

But also rubbish rubber tarmac doesn't teach you anything. It teaches you that if you fly off a swing, or fall from a great height, you may pull a muscle or get a bruise, but not hat you'll break bones or lose teeth.


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:Written by: nearly_all_gone


Kids like danger. The fun of going on a swing is the feeling of danger.







Some kids like danger; others don't- they're quite happy to stick to sedate and safer stuff, and that's OK.



Feeling danger is not the sole reason why swings are fun- I like to go on swings, it's not cos it's dangerous, it's cos it feels nice.



--------------------------------



Let's give kids some credit for intelligence- at some point in their life they will experience hurt and pain from falls, burns etc.



They don't have to actually fall off a swing onto concrete to get a concept of it being dangerous- they can (most can anyway) extrapolate from previous experiences of doing something they were told was dangerous which they went ahead with and came a cropper.



Also, let's acknowledge the differences in kids- some do crave adventure and danger, and will go off and find it if the playgrounds are too soft; others crave safety and, as previously mentioned, are quite capeable of comprehending danger without actually having to put themselves in harms way.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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nearly_all_gone
nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton
Member Since: 3rd Aug 2004
Total posts: 1626
Posted:Fair enough, good points all. smile

What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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rowanlee
member
Location: west coast
Member Since: 23rd Apr 2005
Total posts: 99
Posted:An example of children spinning fire:


I was recently in Khao Lak, Thailand, working doing some Tsunami relief projects. I got involved with orphaned/ displaced childen, doing activities in the camps. I had noticed right away that their behaviour had been profoundly negatively effected by their trauma. Play was subdued, and often violent, disorganized. Not knowing what else to do, I started by showing them Poi spinning...They were crazy for it, as you might guess!

Pics of that expereince got back to a Thai pal in Bangkok, who makes Poi... He sent a ton of spinning toys, (all kinds) juggling balls, diablo, devils sticks, the works !!!, down to the region along with a couple of juggling/poi friends. We took them out to distribute in about six of the camps. Wow!!! It was like watching a refugee camp turn into a three ring circus in minutes flat! We were quite overwhelmed, to see kids that had been all dejected and glum burst into activity and laughter...
juggle

Inspiring.

Some of them got pretty good in a short time with just my minimal instruction...

Oud,
ubbangel the guy that makes the poi, saw the pictures, received the thank you notes that the children made for him, and decided to get involved directly, going down to teach workshop in circus skills. The idea was that the children would have a marketable skill, performing, and even eventually making poi for sale. The goals of circus skills development was to teach them coordination, confidence, and give them a sense of control, while having a blast! All very important things after a disaster and the confusion they were living in.

Recently I got pictures from him of the first workshop, with the young children doing circus stands, acrobatic kind of stuff, and yes, here is the point :


eek
Spinning Fire!

In week of training, he got them using fire,safely and successfully, spinning quite well actually!

I was so impressed by seeing the same kids who were quite lost and sad, transformed:all happy and confident. It was three days after looking at the pictures that I noticed

biggrin
** they were all playing on the beach!****

Weeks earlier I could not have gotten those kids even near the ocean ,period. They were terrified of another tsunami, and drowning in their own memories of the event. Oud not only got them learning something challenging and productive, working as a group, learning to play responsibily with fire, but he got them doing it on the beach!
hug

And these were a pretty young bunch too.

The story may seem a little off topic, but my point is that when taught properly, poi, and yes, fire spinning, is in fact suitable for some young kids. In fact, in some cases more than suitable,absolutely beneficial !!!! -- in many unexpected ways.

These kids needed to learn about facing fears, control, physical and mental discipline and responsibility- in a fun way! And so they did... I am so grateful for Oud for providing them that opportunity. They were so full of joy, I wish you could see their faces. ( Maybe I will figure out how to put some pics up in my gallery..)

My own feeling on the matter is just that children should of course be taught by an adult, and supervised, so that they at least know what is a safe approach to fire spinning. Many are more than capable of handling the risks and would benefit from being trusted with the responsibility. People can always hurt themselves, regardless of age, but sometimes the benefits of learning something simply outweigh the risks.

Just thought I would share that concrete example with ya all!
smiles,
hug
Andrea


wherever you go, there you are

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newgabe
newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali
Member Since: 3rd Mar 2005
Total posts: 4030
Posted:Great post Andrea: Oud ROCKS!!!!! He does great work with Thai street kids (and makes lovely poi bits) and I am really glad to hear about this work. Made my day!!!!

clap



( However, I'm still a bit amazed that there is any real contention anymore about kids/fire/appropriate teaching after all the chat about it in related posts.... I have been thinking about this and come to the only slightyl cheeky conclusion that a lot of the 'danger' of spinning (particularly staff..and apart from kicking over fuel or other not age related foolishness) is from adults who want to feel really brave because they do it, or because they started learning way too old!!! The challenge doesn't seem so much in teaching kids to be good enough to be safe, but teaching adults who have passed their learning peak, are out of touch with their bodies and have 'issues' about learning new stuff!!! )

(speaking as someone who is trying to learn juggling eek at 52!!!)


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:That's a curious observation to make, Newgabe, I get the feeling that you are implying that there should be some sort of age cap for people wanting to explore these fiery arts. What would you define as "way too old"?

What do you see as the "challenge" here? Spinning is not a physically demanding activity, so fitness and flexibility aren't really limiting factors when it comes to actually doing this. We've all run across the drunks, both younger and older, who figure they can just have a go, and how long do they usually last? In my experience, it's been less than a minute.

As for taking this up as a hobby, and an artform to study, I don't think age should really be much of an issue. ( speaking as someone who didn't discover spinning until I was 40 ) ......and still learning,,,,lots. smile


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