Proposed monkey bar ban: WA parents and childhood experts hit back

by Claire Tyrrell

WA parents and experts have pushed back against a proposed ban on monkey bars, saying the benefits of getting outside far outweigh the risks.

Kidsafe WA figures reveal hospital admissions from playground injuries doubled in the eight years to 2013-14 and the organisation says this upward trend is continuing.

Last month, University of Technology Sydney professor of risk management said monkey bars were among the top contributors to playground injuries.

He said where monkey bars had been replaced, injury rates had fallen.

Kidsafe WA playground advisory service manager Tracy Blaszkow said children would not learn anything if they were “wrapped in cotton wool”.

Nature Play chief executive Griffin Longley said monkey bars were a great way to encourage unstructured play.

“There always needs to be a balance between risk and benefit,” he said.

Mr Longley said looking at injuries in isolation of the benefits of the activities was a “slippery slope”.

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Nature Play WA acknowledges the Whadjuk people of the Noongar Nation, as the custodians of the land where our team lives and works. We also acknowledge the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and recognise the continuing connection of Indigenous people to their land, waters, sky, culture and community. We pay our respect to all Indigenous people of this land; ancestors, elders and young ones.