In a swift and surprising turn of events, New York State officials not only admitted they were wrong in creating a list that called typical summer kids’ games like freeze tag and kick ball unsafe, they ripped it up.
Furthermore, they say they are embarrassed that such a ban exists and blame the nonsensical list on former Governor David Patterson.
The New York State Health Department originally created a list of what they deemed “risky recreational activities” which would force many summer programs to ban the games unless they shelled out extra funds to be recognized as an official summer camp. They said the activities listed pose a “significant risk of injury” and have been named as hazards which need to be regulated at day camps. The prior list included wiffle ball, dodge ball, and kick ball goodbye. Horseback riding and scuba make the list and more understandably, archery. But so does freeze tag, Frisbee, steal the bacon and tug of war.
The NY Daily News reports that officials were so embarrassed by the controversial list, they destroyed it and promised they would start over and create a fresh list that doesn’t target normal kids’ games or impede on any summer fun:
“We are coming up with a new list and we are going to do it in a more sensible fashion,” said Health Department spokeswoman Claudia Hutton, who stressed that the list had been drafted by the “previous [Gov. David Paterson] administration.”
A new list is expected to be finished to mid-May and officials promise it will be drafted with common sense.
It’s quite odd how quickly this plan has been changed, especially immediately after it was covered in the press yesterday. Parents were outraged and rightly so. Many felt the plan did more to promote childhood obesity and unhealthy living than anything else. Others felt it infringed on personal rights and was yet another sign that our country was entering a downward spiral. Most parents simply felt it was forcing our kids to grow up in a plastic bubble, so to speak. How much more can we be hyper vigilant as a society? It goes far beyond helicopter parenting and enters into bad parenting when kids can’t simply be kids.
Do you think health department officials just caved after a collective uproar from parents? Do you think the new list will only include actual risky and unsafe games? What games/activities should be on the list? Should a list such as this exist at all?