Youth is an era we all go through during our lifetime while being a child our main priority is always have fun. Having fun at home, at school, at church and most importantly in the park. Turning every dull moment into an exciting one, but are these moments save for them? But there may be A few issues that can be negatives to these playgrounds. Are these parks that are created for kids going to enforce safety measures first? Are the parks the youth playing in safe for kids to play on due to the area these parks are in, are the things in the park safe to use and are these parks being used for the right purposes that won’t cause a child to try and do illegal things. Instead of guiding them into a better path it is guiding them into a path that can lead to death or even jail.
While there are thousands of parks for kids to play in, are any of these parks in areas that are safe for them to play in? Most of the parks created are nearby neighborhoods that are not known for doing any good for the people. For example, there is a park across the street from my house that is always filled with kids running around, swinging on the swings and playing basketball having the time of their life. But in this same park there have been multiple people getting jumped and even shot to death. This shows that although, these kids are playing in these parks that does not make them safe for them to play in them. This is not at fault of the kids because they are just trying to enough themselves and don’t know what is going on around them. But it becomes their fault when they learn it is bad and continues to do those things. While parks are mainly created for younger kids, it is usually taken over by the teens and these teens are there for negative purposes. These teens are taking over these parks because they are adding basketball courts which are usually used by the teens. Also, while these teens are playing their games and it begins to get more intense which than causes conflicts. On September 21, 2018 sixteen-year-old was shot and killed while playing a basketball. Winston said, “Oluwadurotimi Joseph Oyebola, 16, had just dribbled to the corner of the court and pulled up for a three-pointer. Shots rang out. A bullet struck him in his forehead (Winston,2).” This emphasizes that these parks are not safe because kids are getting shot and killed for just trying to have some fun. What is even worse about this is that the person that killed this 16-year-old was a person who is two years younger than him, which shows that these parks are not even safe from the own kids in the park. Aside from getting hurt from someone else they can also run the risk of getting while using slides and swings because of the natural things near them like rocks and trees. These things are easy to trip and fall over them. “A total of 539 injuries were reported during the 2007/2008 school year. Abrasions, bruises, and inflammation were the most frequently reported injuries. The head, neck or face was most commonly injured. Injury rates per 1000 student days ranged between 0.018 (rubber crumb in spring) and 0.08 (poured-in-place and natural rock in the fall). Rubber crumb surfacing, compared with natural rock, had a significantly lower rate of injury in the spring, but no other season-surface comparisons were statistically significant(Lara,1).” This shows us the risk of kids getting hurt in a park is possible because of many different things that might not be so dangerous but can still lead to damage. Although, kids are more likely to get hurt because they are always running and jumping in these parks the risks are increased.
Most of these parks we are going into are usually in the middle of the hood, aside from people getting hurt because of where the park it, there is more negative to it. One negative aspect is that kids and grownups are using these parks to sell and do drugs. While walking in the parks you can run into many different things such as ziplock bag, roll-up, and even needles. There are some laws that are put in place for those who are buying and selling drugs in kid’s zones such as schools, these laws give them the right to be harsher with their punishment. “Sounds bad, right? Surely the kind of monster who sells crack in a schoolyard should be put away for a long time. Lawmakers certainly think so: All 50 states and the District of Columbia have laws on the books that provide for harsh sentences for people who buy or sell drugs near schools. (Krisai,42).” This is helpful because it will cause others to think twice before selling illegal things nears schools and playgrounds. These laws show the criminal that this is a serious crime that the state is willing to put these people in jail for years or even life. Although there are laws put in place in order to stop these people, that does not mean it always stops them from doing these things. “GOODRUM IS ONE of 436 inmates currently serving time in Tennessee state prisons for possessing or selling drugs in a drugfree zone (Krisai,43).” There are almost 500 inmates in just one prison, which shows that there are still many people who disregard that parks are for kids and turn it into a trap spot. This area can change a lot of things for a person in court if the crime is not so big but done in one of these areas it becomes worst for them. For example, “For a drug offender charged with possession of under half a gram of cocaine with intent to distribute, a few hundred feet can mean the difference between probation vs. eight years of a hard time behind bars (Krisai,44).” There is a big difference from a person who goes to jail for years or a person that gets to go home with some limitations. Therefore, these negative things happen so often around the youth and causes them to behave in unlawful manners leading to the creations of laws. Playgrounds are created to help the youth express themselves and learn positively but instead they are learning about the bad things.
While architects are creating these playgrounds one of the biggest issues, they are facing is how safe can these parks be for hundreds of kids who are running around without anybody watching them. Trying to make the best place for them to play in and keeping safe is their main goal. “Many children usually are not adequately supervised, so the biggest challenge for playground designers, manufacturers, and owners throughout North America is the liability costs associated with almost any injury, regardless of the severity. (Kutska,2).” Building playground is more than just slides and swings it must be well thought of and how will it fit better? For example, you can’t put sprinklers near slides or swings because while these kids are running around, and the floors are wet they will run the risk of falling and getting hurt. Throughout the year’s parks have been improved because they know what works and what does not work. The measurement of slides is more accurate, so you won’t get stuck in the middle of the slide or you won’t zoom by and get stuck. “An embankment slide must follow the contour of the ground and at no point can the bottom of the slide chute be greater than 12 inches from the surrounding ground surface. The slide transition or entry platform may also be up to 12 inches above the surface and does not have use zone requirements (Kutska,3).” Adding an inch here and there and taking off an inch here and there makes a difference and allows for these slides to be most effective to use and safe at the same time. This shows that these playgrounds are safe kids when it comes to the topic of the playground itself. All of the items in the playground of well-planned out to make sure it won’t be an issue. while the younger these kids are the more things they try to do in these parks, sometimes these things are dangerous and life-risking, which makes it harder for them to creates these playgrounds. “All enclosed or partially enclosed openings must be checked for potential head or neck entrapment. Generally, there should be no openings on playground equipment that measure between 3.5 and 9 inches. Pay special attention to openings at the top of slides, between platforms and on climbers (The daily doze,3).” This is an example that shows kids try any and everything which means everything must come to an account and make sure it won’t be an issue. The most created mind is a youth’s mind because there is no such thing as something good or bad for them. Creating a safe playground for the youth is an issue itself because there can be many ways in which a child hurt themselves or hurt someone else.
Playgrounds are created for kids to enjoy themselves and stay active. As time goes on these parks are losing their purposes and become less of a playground and more of a free for all. This does not allow the youth to get the experience of playing in these parks and lose out on being active. While parents become worried about these parks, they allow their kids to go there anymore. This forces parents to get their kids tablets, that does not promote activeness but rather causes them to be lazy and not lead them to be isolated from others. These tablets do not allow kids to play with each other and learn from one another. They just want to be locked in a room watching others play in playgrounds rather than themselves playing in these playgrounds. Playgrounds also play a major part in not forcing the youth to want to play with tablets all day because these parks get outdated and become more of a hangout spot. In order for playgrounds to become the number one place for the youth to express themselves and become a better child is to allow them to have this place safe for them and not a risky place. This can happen by giving playgrounds more attention such as having a random patrol throughout the day. This can create a safer place for kids because it will force the illegal actions out of the park. In conclusion, playgrounds are created for youth to be able to express themselves and learn but this has lost its value and become a public lot for anyone to do as they wish.
Branson, Lara Joan, Latter, John, Currie, Gillian R., Nettel-Aguirre, Alberto, Embree, Tania, Hagel. “The effect of surface and season on playground injury rates” (1205- 7088), 12057088, Nov2012, Vol. 17, Issue 9
Kutska, Kenneth. “Playgrounds Safety.” Web-b-Ebscohost-Com.ccny-proxy1.Libr.ccny.cuny.edu, web-b-ebscohost-com.ccny-proxy1.libr.ccny.cuny.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=3&sid=dbecd58c-a0cd-48d9-8346-b068a2023c5e%40sessi.
Winston, Ali, and Emily Palmer. “The Shooting Victim Died at 16. The Suspect Is Even Younger.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 2 Oct. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/10/02/nyregion/brooklyn-basketball-murder-teenager.html.