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No More Playing Tag

I can’t believe this. Did I really hear Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News report a principal had “forbidden” the game of tag at a school because a child had...

I can’t believe this. Did I really hear Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News report a principal had “forbidden” the game of tag at a school because a child had been hurt?   He then quoted a parent who had written the principal saying , “I guess I need to bubble wrap my child, so they will not get hurt at school”, and this comment (among others) prompted the principal’s decision. 

What is this world coming to?  We have been taking away recess from schools and there seems to be less and less playground equipment for kids to climb and play on as well.  Now, no tag? I also heard that some schools have taken away 4-square.  Aren’t we going a bit too far? 

Unfortunately, accidents are a fact of life.  We parents do everything we can to protect our children from accidents, but kids will fall down and cannot be bubble wrapped.  I certainly believe in helmets, cars seats, baby gates, pool covers, seat belts, childproof caps....I am sure I am missing a few, but despite our best efforts accidents will happen. Fortunately, most of these accidents result in non life threatening injuries.  But bumps, bruises, stitches, casts are all a part of childhood (adults fall too), and I learned as a parent myself that the best doctors to know besides your pediatrician are orthopedists and plastic surgeons!

When my boys were younger, I received several calls from school that one of them had been hurt. The calls all reassured me that they were “fine” but on several occasions the next comment was, “do you know a plastic surgeon?’”, or “I think his arm is boken”.  Not great things to hear, but none were life threatening! Thank the Lord. 

I wanted my children to have time to run around, play on the playground and even climb trees (yes they did).  They had recess at school everyday and it was always “one of the best parts of their day”.  With 3 sons they spent a lot of time in our yard, which always seemed to have some sort of goal or two on it, or on the basketball court on the driveway. One of the broken arms occurred right at home when one brother “pushed or fouled” (still not clear) the other and yes there was a broken arm.

Of course teachers and principals need to be outside watching recess and our children, but outlawing tag?  Another ritual of child hood taken away, and exercise at that!  

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About Sue Hubbard, M.D.

Dr. Sue Hubbard is an award winning pediatrician and medical editor for www.kidsdr.com.  She is a native of Washington, D.C. who travelled south to attend the University of Texas at Austin and never left.Read More

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