3 Aug 2013

Playground safety fears 'out of proportion'

6:31 am on 3 August 2013

A playground installer says councils around the country are either getting rid of playgrounds or scaling them down due to an overzealous focus on safety and to cut costs.

The British-based founder of Outdoor Play and Learning, Michael Follett, says in many cases play equipment offers children no thrills or challenges.

Mr Follett says an obsession with safety and price is having a detrimental effect on children.

"Children are easy pickings when it comes to budget cuts. They're not voters and they're the first ones to go. What gets forgotten is that New Zealand signed up to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and Article 31 is actually the right to play."

Mr Follett says the debate around playground safety is out of proportion and his research shows there is a much higher chance of children dying on the way to the playground than on the playground itself.