I tuned into a radio talk show in the middle of the hosts talking about some lame rules recently implemented which ban quite a few kids' games because they're dangerous. I assumed it had to come from California, of course, because we often seem to be the trendsetting implementer of incredibly stupid laws. Turns out New York gives California a run for the title of Queen Nanny State.
The New York Daily News -- yeah, I know, that totally reliable journalistic source -- had a story last week on the rules summer camps have to abide by. NBC New York and others say the rules have since been rescinded. Yes, I do see that you might say that archery and rock climbing are dangerous, although with proper adult supervision at, say, a Girl Scout camp, I don't know why you also can't sign the kids up for that.
But wiffle ball? Playing tag? Kickball? Those are "inherently dangerous"? Dude, even the lame-ass elementary school Youngest attends lets them play kickball. But no tag is allowed at the school. And you can't play tennis baseball (our local equivalent to wiffle ball) until you're in 4th or 5th grade. No running on the blacktop. No chasing games of any kind. No more than 30 children on the playground structure at a time. No knock-out basketball. No no no.
Were it not for the fact that Youngest plays soccer every single recess, I'd probably fight for his right to play tag or run free.
I do have an idea for health departments everywhere: let's focus on getting kids healthy by playing real games, like tag or dodgeball or kickball, rather than playing video games and staring at the TV. Or maybe the health departments can work toward eradicating diseases and rampant teenage pregnancy and transmission of STDs.
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