Playgrounds Need More Elements of Risk, Experts Say

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The thrill of the playground is gone. It hasn't just been supplanted by the lure of high-tech gadgets and fast-paced video games, although those do take their share of the blame for the nation's childhood obesity epidemic. The real problem, say playground researchers and child development professionals, is that building standards like those specified by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission limiting how fast or high a child can go and accessibility requirements dictating equipment placement have brought too much order to playgrounds, making them unappealing to children.

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