Safety First!

*First published on October 26, 2006 at 

Several months ago I wrote an article about mandatory bicycle helmet laws and kids wearing helmets during other activities to keep their noggin’s protected. Well, here we go again! Thank goodness somebody is looking out for our children. An elementary school in Attleboro, Massachusetts, made national news last week when they banned tag, touch football, and other chase games from the playground. They don’t want little Johnny getting hurt and his parents suing the school. This is the same area that also banned the game dodge ball a few years ago. Apparently other cities around the country are following suit to avoid the lawsuits. I don’t blame them! If my little boy came home from school one day with a skinned knee and said he fell down on the playground from running and playing tag, I would be on the phone to my attorney before you could say, “You’re it!”

I hope this trend catches on all over the country. The school boards should consider banning pens and pencils, too. Little Susie might decide to go crazy one day and stab the little jerk behind her that keeps kicking her chair. Nothing screams lawsuit louder than an 8 year-old with a #2 pencil in his thigh.

When I was in kindergarten there was this kid, Kevin, that chased me around the room because I wouldn’t give him his crayon back. He finally caught up to me and reached around to clothesline me, but his forearm nailed me in the mouth. One front tooth popped right out and the other was hanging on by a thread. There was blood everywhere! He got his crayon back. I wonder if it’s too late for me to sue. That whole situation could have been avoided if the school district had banned chase and did away with those menacing crayons.

Earlier this week at my son’s preschool he was playing with Mr. Potato Head. Being the comical genius that he his, he was playing with the pieces acting like they were on his face. Turns out he poked himself in the eye with the mustache! Tsk, Tsk. They should know better than to have things like a funny toy mustache around children could hurt themselves with. He complained all day that his eye was hurting! Poor guy. I’ve decided to let this little incident go and not sue our church.

Here are some school rule proposals to provide a safer childhood for our little angels. I’m sure this will create a much better learning environment for our kids and less trips to the nurse for boo-boo bandages.

  • No more tetherball games. The ball can smack a kid in the face and leave a red mark!
  • All playgrounds must have foam flooring like those egg crate mattress pads.
  • Obviously there can be no tag, chase, or anything of the like. Kids can take turns jumping on the foam-padded floor, but must go one at a time. And they must walk. No walking backwards, though, as they might fall down and hit their heads.
  • Swing sets must have seatbelts. Harnesses are preferred. Kids may not push other kids on the swing because that involves touching.
  • No metal slides. I fell down on the playground and hit the corner of a slide once. I cut my face right next to my eyebrow. I’m lucky I didn’t lose an eye! I still have the scar, though, and not just a physical one. All schools should change to inflatable slides like airplanes have in case of emergencies.
  • Monkey bars are still permitted as long as kids do not hang by their feet.
  • Pens and pencils are not allowed in the classroom (the stab factor) and should be replaced with jars of ink and brushes like the old days. Brush handles must have rounded ends to discourage poking. All children and teachers must attend a 30-minute class to watch a video on the dangers of drinking ink from the jar. OSHA will require this if the districts want to be protected from lawsuits.
  • Staplers will be replaced with tape dispensers. The kid in the back row with the rubber band always swipes the staples. Those staples then become weapons that get shot at the other kids.

I’m looking forward to the day when these rules and others get passed. I really want my children to be less active on the playground and get fat. Besides, they’re having too much fun playing these silly games and enough is enough! How do they expect to survive in this world if they continue to play all the time?