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April 19, 2011


ALBANY - State bureaucrats have identified a potentially deadly hazard facing our children this summer - freeze tag.

That's right, officials have decided the age-old street game - along with Wiffle Ball, kickball and dodgeball - poses a "significant risk of injury."

(Thanks to Jeff Meyerson)


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To quote Robert Klein talking about his parents being overprotective: "Tiddlywinks? Only with a helmet."

"If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball!" --Patches O' Houlihan

*would like to comment, but is frozen*

*unfreezes Punkin*

It's kind of a shame the headline writer had to be so direct about what this was really all about. I'd rather think of bureaucrats as incompetent and unaware rather than coldly cynical like this.

"Extreme tag." What kinda kid is Kim Wainright raising?

You've gotta wonder how any of these state "officials" ever survived growing up IF these games were so dangerous...

Anybody else remember napping on the back dash of the car as a kid? It's amazing we ever grew up. (Not that anyone on this blog ever did.)

-- "I'm going out to play, Mom!"

-- "Not without putting on your bubble-wrap, Mister!! There's places on the playground where the styrofoam is not as thick as it should be!"

And then the state wonders why the children get fat. Oh wait, blame Happy Meals™

Isn't "significant risk of injury" pretty much the point of most kids' games? Could it be possible there is a developmental need to take risks in a controlled setting (such as a GAME) as a part of growing up?

The New York Health Department is very lucky it did not see some of the bicycle tricks I used to come up with on summer vacation. The Health Department would collectively wet itself.

If they're as successful as stopping teen smoking, we'll see a rash of whiffle ball infuries this summer.

The latest urban menace: Kick... The... Can...

Hide the children!

Let's see, I flipped a church bench over onto my head at 5, gashed my glasses into my head from bike fall at 7, slid backward down the stairs playing a "foot push" game with my sister... big knee gash from having the nerve to SKIP home in the dark, not noticing the uneven sidewalk...

and oiuio look guqery2348 how kuygce I sfjr turned w383475sk out..,;'/.;..

Most of my scars I picked up by the time I was 12. Didn't get any in the Army.

I have to agree with Red Rover being dangerous. I hated that game when I was a kid and everyone usually targeted me because they knew I would let go. I have a scar on my knee from riding my bicycle down concrete steps in the park, used to ride a home made skateboard in the road without a helmet, walked to the movies by myself to meet friends and then we would go swimming without an adult. As far as I know we are all still alive. The only time I remember our moms getting mad was when we were having a breath holding contest and one kid passed out. When he came to we had changed to another game.

It seems like getting out of bed could pose a significant risk of injury. Let's outlaw that.

Red Rover, Duck Duck Goose, WAR Ball, THAT'S IT!! That's the reason we are all on this post, we are all brain deranged from playing kid's games. OMG! You let the kids play TAG?

I remember when being a kid was actually fun, but then my mother made me quit running with scissors.

And let's not even mention "Smear the Queer," which for the uninitiated, is like an unorganized rugby game. I played that most every day growing up in south Texas and only got one (maybe two) concussions.

To say nothing of the jammed and hyperextended knees from stopping too suddenly during Freeze Tag.

Can we still blow bubbles? (If we don protective eyewear, I mean.)

Sack racing is all well and good, but what if you strain your... uh...sack ?

Left the house in the morning, played numerous "dangerous" games (anyone remember emulating Evil Knievel?) came back by supper, lived.

And who never jumped off the roof?

Ah, the sea of negligence we swam through as children.

These guys are whack. Must've been beaned in the head playing dodgeball, to be stupid enough to believe stuff like that is dangerous.

My favorite in grade school was buck-buck. The Fat Albert classic. Learned about it from one of my Bill Cosby records. The only game they banned on my grade school playground.
Kids today don't know what they are missing.

My favorite recess game was tether ball. I also loved climbing the monkey bars and in fact received my first kiss under the monkey bars! I was 6 years old. Do kids still have swing sets? I loved those too.

We used to slide off of the garage roof into the huge piles of snow the plow guy left. The trick eas controlling the slide so you didn't go into the street.

*snork* @ Punkin. My dad would turn our driveway into a luge run by lifting the blade on his snowplow a little, packing it, and banking the sides on the turns. Good times.

My fave game was riding the steers and hopefully not falling in a cowpie. You cityfolk don't know what you're missin'.

Most of what I did as a kid would have had me taken away from my parents today. We are raising a bunch of sissies.

Actually "They" are raising them, my wife and I have cats.

We played punchball in the driveway and approximately 15 times a day the ball would go into the street, which was a major avenue with two lanes of fast-moving traffic in each direction. The odds were the ball would be hit and we'd have to chase it a block or so.

Oh well, it kept us in reasonable shape.

Doggie pile on so and do was always fun. Giving noogies. Things that today would get you arrested.

Not to mention we had pretty free access to firecrackers, which were pretty dull, so we spent an hour unwrapping a bunch until we had a big enough pile of gunpowder to get a really big boom.

Who needs eyebrows at 9 yrs old, anyway?

@Punkin: Ah the memories. We used to take firecrackers and stuff them into rotten apples that were on the ground after the apple harvest and have really cool homemade hand grenade fights. I'll probably get arrested now just for typing "hand grenade."

And, at Boy Scout camp, we'd take a sock, roll it up as tight as possible, soak it in kerosene, then light it a throw it around like a flaming lacrosse ball with our camp shovels.

Good times!

To nannie at 1:46 -- yes, but under the new rules, you have to be sure that Bubbles is free from toxic substances.

I'm sort of surprised that any of us are still alive.

And how many of us took a blood oath with a friend by cutting your hands and rubbing them together?

Thank goodness this was pre-AIDS.

@nursecindy - I am amazed myself that we are in possesion of enough fingers to type. We nailed boards onto tree trunks up high enough to see over the roof tops, road our bikes all over town (in fact my mom told me if I wanted to go anywhere after school my bike was available), ran, tumbled, fought, shot china berries at each other and generally behaved like children.

And, yes, punkin, we used to cut our hands with that dangerous little strip of metal on our wooden rulers to make blood oaths. In fact we did a lot of really dangerous things with those metal slicers.

Now the kids have scissors that are supposed to not cut hair or cloth, what the hell good is that?!? Oh, and my daughter proved that they would cut hair, took 3 years for that patch to grow back out. BWAHAHAhhahahaha

Many of the kids in my hometown basically lived at the "three-story caves", an area high on a local mountain where there were sandstone caves in an area about 60 feet high, thus "three-story's tall".
From maybe 8 on, we were up at the caves, climbing up and down, all around on 1/4 inch rope. 60 feet up.
Oh, and we never took water. We drank out of creeks on the old theory that if water ran over three rocks, it got purified.
We all pretty much kept diarrhea.
Our parents knew what we were doing. Just what they had done as kids.

Remember no seatbelts, no bicycle helmets? Wwe used to ride bikes in the middle of a dirt road and yell "car" when a car came by. Then again, a bicycle helmet may have saved my life (or saved me from a concussion) when I was in college, so I think those (and seatbelts) are good. :)

OK, folks, you're mostly missing the point: these activities are not banned; they just trigger more oversight of "day camps." In most states, summer camps by law need to have things like enough staff and toilets, and health inspections.

In many places, unlicensed "day camps" are run by church groups, etc. using underpaid inexperienced teenagers as "counselors," full of good intentions and little common sense. The issue isn't whether kids will get banged up; it's what kind of supervision should parents expect from a "camp." They expect as least as much as from licensed day care providers, and often don't get it. Someone on the staff needs to know first aid, or at least taxidermy.

Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah....

When I was about five years old, I climbed the dogwood tree next to the back porch, onto the roof. I jumped off the roof using an umbrella as a parachute. About half-way down, I realized the umbrella was not working and reached out to grab something. I grabbed a keg of nails and pulled it down on top of my head. I survived. Also I learned that cartoons are not a reliable source of information about umbrellas.

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