Monday, July 5, 2010

Outdoor Wednesday: Round and Round

The wheel where the kid was flung off and hit a metal pole.

Courtesy yahoo news. My girls used to play twenty years ago,

This is a big one, that I am weary of. There is no photo of the one when I was young in Borneo.

I could never understand why the makers of playground equipment made these things that go round and round. When I was little, we lived near a playground provided by the Government. The playground was very big as it was catering for the children of civil servants. That was what Dad was. There were two sets of everything.

I never liked the "Merry Go Round" aka roundabout, it was like a bird cage of 8 feet diameter. Otherwise, it was like a giant rattle, with the handle stuck in the ground. We could sit on wooden planks or stand. It was two feet from ground. The braver ones hold with one hand and stand on one leg with the body outside the cage. A person or two stand on the ground and spin the cage. Usually the bigger boys did that. I was prong to dizziness but it didn't deter me from joining the rest to be spun round and round.

In those days, our cousins always came in the holidays and they would go crazy in the playground as they didn't live near one.

My fondest memory or one that impacted all of us was we were all on it, and the boys were spinning us. There were two little cousins M and C. Cousin H who was my age was eating a preserved plum and carrying one of our other cousins.

I was screaming because I always getting dizzy. H dropped her sour plum and was bending down to pick it. She didn't know that when you are on it, you must hold on to the rails very tightly. The little cousin's head was almost touching to the ground as we spun round and round. H tried to grab hold of cousin M. M was spun like rag doll or a head banger when an ice skater spins his partner holding her legs.

Initially the boys just spun faster and faster. It was terrifying, all the girls were screaming and M was crying. Realizing what was happening, the boys pulled the Merry Go Round to make it go the reversed direction before it finally stopped.

Luckily M was not hurt, and only shaken. In fact, we were all shaken. It was our secret. We never told anyone. M, H and I belonged to different sets of family. We bribed M and her sister C to keep quiet.

When I met up with H in 1980, we laughed recalling that incident. M was recently bereaved, her husband died, and all of us remembered that incident.

Last December, my sister Margaret came to visit Auckland with her kids. I took them to Western Springs. While the kids played on another "Round and Round" equipment, Margaret and I reminisced that incident. Before we could finish our story, a little kids was spun out and hit the steel pole. My sister and I saw the kid flying out. We went to help. The mum went and said," Sorry Bub, Sorry Bub," and she herself was crying. She had three little kids spinning on the tire. The kid was screaming. I asked the mum if she had some water to give it to the kid.

I went to the park and took the photo. Now that my kids are grown, the youngest being 13, I am relax in the playground. I had been a self appointed supervisor of playground safety.

Below is another case which was just reported in New Zealand which prompted this post.

Girl scalped by roundabout
July 6, 2010, 8:12 am

Invercargill City Council will today decide what action to take after a six-year-old girl suffered a fractured skull and was partially scalped after getting her hair caught in a city park roundabout.

The girl, who has not been named, was sitting on the platform of the roundabout at Otepuni playground while other children whirled it around on June 24.

Her hair got caught in the machinery, pulling her head so tightly that large chunks of her hair ripped out at the roots and her skull fractured, The Southland Times reported.

She was rushed to hospital with blood coming out of an ear and still suffered from hearing loss. It was not known whether her hair will grow back.
The council had removed the at least 25-year-old roundabout plus similar amusements around the city's playgrounds and were meeting today to review the situation.


Lorac said...

What a tradgedy! I remember I disliked those too!

Chubskulit Rose said...

Looks like a ride.

Nostalgic Marveling

Inday said...

Dear Ann,

I don't know what's going on in my blog. I am getting problems these days. Not sure if I will quit but some things are too surreal for me.

The comments are disappearing and to whose doing, I don't know.

And my photo postings are now being constricted. I have exhausted my quota.

I hope this will reach you okay.

Jama said...

That's one reason why I never let my kids play a the playground unless accompanied by me. I've seen kids falling down, hurting themselves , while their moms were busy talking further away and not paying attention.

Ah Ngao said...

i don't like merry-go-around becoz my head spins too,after having a go.i had one bad experience when i was a young was a hot afternoon,my bigger cousins brought me to the playground.on seeing a tall slide,i scramble and just slides down not knowing how hot the piece of plank buttock was so painful...,i cried and i swear...i got that jitter whenever i come across a i grow older,i managed to forget my phobia.

Cheryl said...

How awful! I didn't like anything that went round and round, I would get so dizzy. Nowadays those old rides are being replaced with much safer ones.

eileeninmd said...

How sad to hear about accidents on the playground. It is suppose to be a fun place. Your photos are great, Ann