Paranoia can only get you so far, and then you get into the absurd.

Is this sign designed to keep kids safe or protect someone from litigation?

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If you can’t read this, here are the rules that are posted on this sign.

Rules of the Playground

Follow the Rules – Play Carefully

Do not use equipment when wet

No running, Pushing or shoving

Do not use play equipment improperly

No bare feet, wear proper footwear

Do not use equipment in this playground without adult supervision

Do not use equipment unless designed for your age group

Climbing

Do not climb down unless area is clear. Watch Carefully to Avoid other climbers

Do not climb without using both hands. Use correct grip, fingers and thumbs for holding

Do not push, shove or crowd. Wait your turn

Slides

Do not climb up sliding surface

Do not slide down improperly. Slide sitting up, feet first one at a time

No pushing or shoving. Wait your turn. Wait until the slide is empty before sliding down

Whirls

Do not jump off or on a moving whirl. Hold on with both hands to handrail

Do not lean back over edge. Hold on to handrails with both hands

Do not stand close to a moving whirl. Keep a clear distance.

First of all, lets looks look at the individual rules.

Do not use play equipment improperly.  What is improperly? What is improperly to a five-year-old?

No bare feet, wear proper footwear. No bare feet is easy. However, what is proper footwear? Wingtips, are Nike’s ok or do they have to be a specific brand?

Do not use equipment unless designed for your age group. What is my age group? Is the age group listed on the equipment? There is none listed on the sign.

Use correct grip, fingers and thumbs for holding. What is the correct grip? Am I allowed to wedge my hand into a crack? Should I be taped up before climbing? What if I don’t have some fingers or a thumb?

So some of these rules are absurd, even for adults. If an adult cannot understand the rules, how is a kid?

Rules as a hole?

Slides appeal to kids of all age groups. So unless you have reached the second or third grade (age 7-8?) you can’t read. You are walking along the street, see a playground and go running to the slide. Do you stop and stare at something you can’t understand?

Do you stare at something built at a height way above your head? Do you even slow down as you pass the sign? Do you really think that this is going to prevent a kid from getting hurt?

Seriously

Maybe a sign like this has some legal value, but I would think that anyone would blow that issue out of the water. How can you expect someone who cannot read to obey the rules.

If you really want to stop injuries, you better design your playground so that on one can get hurt. Or better, you figure that kids are going to figure a way to get hurt, no matter how low to the ground and how padded.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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By Recreation Law    Rec-law@recreation-law.com      James H. Moss         #Authorrank

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