Column: The pitfalls of a future generation

Published 9:53 am Tuesday, February 9, 2010

By Scott Mims

Children’s playgrounds are safer and more accessible than they used to be. The playground equipment at Clanton City Park incorporates many modern safety features we didn’t have when I was growing up.
Devices formerly known as seesaws (they are called something else now) have an automatic stop feature that keeps you from hitting the ground if the person on the other end jumps off.
Playgrounds are now surrounded by a rubber chip material, or a soft wood chip material to cushion the impact of a fall.
Perhaps most importantly, communities are investing in more equipment that is accessible to children with disabilities. Clanton has already done this, and Jemison’s new playground is in the construction phase.
While all these new features are great, these modern playgrounds don’t seem as fun as those I grew up with. Or as dangerous, for that matter.
I remember at least one or two kids being injured on the equipment we had at our elementary school. I don’t think there’s any way that kind of equipment would be allowed at a school today.
Still, all these safety measures seem to take something away from childhood. It’s just a thought.
There are other kinds of pitfalls that my generation didn’t have. I was not acquainted with the Internet until my junior year of high school.
Kids these days are born knowing how to compute. But with that come the dangers of predators, pornography, cyber-bullying, identity theft and more.
Considering the economy, I wonder what kind of world today’s kids will be growing up in. It makes you think twice about bringing kids into the world.
– Scott Mims is the news editor of The North Chilton Advertiser.