Risks At Playgrounds, Monkey Bars?

Risks At Playgrounds, Monkey Bars?

Jul 19, 2011
The ‘Playground equipment sparks debate‘ an article published in The Banner on July 14, 2011 definitely sparked debate everywhere.A piece of playground equipment in Confederation Park is under the microscope as residents are divided on weather to have it removed or leave it in place.‘, page 1.

Ada Johnson Playground

I thought I join this debate also, since I am very frequent visitor to the playgrounds in Aurora. Of course not by myself, with my 3 year old son.

My thoughts …

Playground equipment is not designed for one age. It is designed for range of ages. It is my responsibility as a parent to recognize my child’s climbing and maneuverability skills and let them play with the monkey bars, double hump camel climber or other equipment. Would I let my three year old now, or four year old next year climb such? No, he is a talker, but definitely not a climber at this stage of his life.

Ada Johnson Playground

Monkey bars, double hump camel climber and some other equipment I have seen are definitely for 10 year old children or older. Children at this age are more skilled but also bigger in size so falling through would be little difficult, never mind less distance to fall.

I am very protective parent. I don’t see anything wrong with that. Anything that my child wants to climb and I determined that it is not for him, he either is assisted or not allowed to use that piece of equipment.

Playgrounds are not just for fun, they are also learning experience for our children. Children fall, then they learn about pain and danger. We tell our children they cannot climb this or that, they learn about discipline. Children climb slides, we teach them about playground rules.

Children don’t know much about danger and are spontaneous. That goes with some of us too. Children are fearless. Again, as I responsible parent I must see danger ahead of my child, and warn them. If I cannot climb monkey bars, double hump camel climber or other equipment and probably cannot, then it is not for my child. If I know that my child likes to try new things, I watch him like a hawk. They learn, sometimes a spontaneous move can hurt.

My child fell backwards from top of the slide onto the stairs. My mistake, I should have examined the slide. There was a very little land for him to sit, he lost balance and fell backwards. Should I ask for the redesign. No, I assisted him until he became older and more skilled in maneuvering around. I learn too.

My child almost burned himself on the metal slide. Yes, we still have those in Aurora. My mistake, I took my child to the playground around lunch time, at the peak temperature. I did not examined the slide again. It was metal, and not plastic and you could almost cook an egg on its surface. No more visiting this playground. On the second thought, this is the playground I would suggest to replace.

Ada Johnson Playground

My conclusion …

Be responsible for your child they are fearless little creatures.

On the second hand I don’t understand what the subtitle on the page one of The Banner under ‘Playground equipment sparks debate‘ reading ‘Initiative promotes carpooling, public transit use‘, has to do with the whole article. A typo?

About the Author

Anna Lozyk Romeo

I am living in Aurora and this is my photo journal blog. A picture says 1000 words - but not always, so I write. You don't have to travel 1000 miles to find a treasure - all I have to do is zoom through my lens and I will find it for you here in Aurora.


  1. Hi Anna!

    Confederation Park was my park growing up as a kid. I never really had a problem with the park itself except for maybe the odd scraped knee or scratch that any normal kid would be proud to show their father as a war wound (side note: how come Mom’s never seem to like the minor cuts and bruises that inevitably happen as kids?).

    As for the current double hump camel climber. I’m currently sitting on the fence on this one. I have seen this piece of equipment walking through the park but never saw any kids on it. I do take into the account of the concerns of the two parents that have come forward twice to council. I also have taken into account Councillor Evelyn Buck’s and your concerns about this equipment piece needing supervision. I also have heard Director of Parks and Recreation Alan Downey noting at the council meeting that this piece of equipment meets CSA standards. So I’m not sure which way to go. I hope the staff report with options that comes back will help.

    Perhaps the inclusion of the manufacturer’s recommended age specification of the 6-12 years (or whatever it is) could be better known to users of the park on a sign or something at this time and into the future if the piece of equipment remains. But again, hopefully the experts at the parks department (Al Downey, Jim Tree and company) will come up with some ideas.

    Again, there are lots of opinions out there, but I sit on the fence as to how to solve the problem. Hopefully the staff report will allow council and the public to figure this one out.

  2. Michael, and why did you leave Aurora, so many issues to deal with here, lol.

    I think it is fair for you to sit on the fence with this one. I am leaning to keep the equipment, and I was also thinking about the sign. I have seen signs in other playgrounds in Aurora. Some have two sets of playing stations, one for toddler and up to 6, and then next 6-12 year olds. I think this is actually better alternative. Otherwise, other parents my jump on the same wagon, and next we will be removing everything that ‘looks’ dangerous from the playgrounds.

    This double hump camel climber is definitely not for 4, 5 or 6 year old children or any other child that is not capable to climb. And definitely 4,5 and 6 year old children should never go to the playground by themselves.

    Thanks for commenting Michael, and contribution.

    Anna :)

  3. I moved from Aurora to be a little closer to work for my wife and myself. Richmond Hill was perfect for both of us to reduce our commute times.

    Still visit Aurora a couple a times a month and keep track of the shenanigans going on at council. Aurora will always be a home for me in one way or another.

  4. You get it…you’re the parent and you know what’s best for your child. Kid parks are for all ages and you know that. You are using common sense and that’s something that is rapidly disappearing. Good for you.

    Have a terrific day. :)

  5. All you say is correct, Anna. My kids were fearless too and I was not that protective. But one of the things I did do was as you say, determine if the child was ready for each individual piece of equipment and not let them get in too far over their heads. One of our frequent playgrounds had a great round, metal, climbing structure that they loved. The playground took it out a couple of years ago because of the liability.

  6. Michael, I know what you mean.
    Thanks for sharing. Anna :)

  7. Thanks Sandy for agreeing, and welcome to my town.
    Anna :)

  8. Hi Will, welcome to my town also.
    Some times towns will do that just to get rid of the headache just in case.
    Looks like we are on the border.

    Anna :)