New Study Shows Playgrounds Are Becoming Boring for Kids

Lynchburg, VA - It is the place kids flock to frolic, but new research shows the modern day playground is too boring and that could be hurting kids.

A study from Norway suggests strict safety standards have made playground equipment so safe, that kids may never learn to take healthy risks. A study finds the restrictions may contribute to childhood obesity.

The standards which come from the Consumer Product Safety Commission are in effect to make sure kids are as safe as possible while playing. Preschool teacher Julie Dearborn says standards have really changed over the years.

"We here at St. John's Day school have the rubberized mulch, so that's different," said Dearborn. "The swings are definitely lower, the slides are lower."

Although there have been some changes, she says this playground is a kids' wonderland.

"We've got lots of things for the kids. We've got a sand box, we've got swings and slides, a play set climber," said Dearborn.

Pat McNamara, is the president of Max Play Fit, which sells playground equipment. He says there are more activities on the ground to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"So it could be a storefront or a tic tac toe panel, things like that, that for children that are very active, those aren't that interesting to them," said McNamara.

According to Smart Beginnings Central Virginia Director Karen Wesley, playground safety standards were last updated in 2011.

"The spacing of playground equipment because children climb and children fall and when they do fall you don't want them to hit into another piece of equipment," said Wesley.

Even though things have changed a bit, Wesley says kids still love it.

"Maybe things are a little less risky, but I think most young children still use their imagination, and have a great time when they're outdoors," said Wesley.

Click here to view a copy of the Consumer Product Safety Commission's Public Playground Safety Handbook.