Would the kids of today survive the death-defying playgrounds of the past? Perhaps. Their parents? Chances are good for a heart attack.

A quick Google search of ‘playground dangers’ comes back with 535,000 matching webpages and videos. For a modern-day parent trying to avoid their child being hurt while engaging in some innocent outdoor peer interaction, what they read or view might make them decide to wrap their offspring in a perma-padded outfit. For that same parent, the very thought of anyone playing on the equipment from the early 1900s geared specifically towards children would definitely be a panic attack in the making.

To be fair, when playgrounds became popular ‘back then’ their main purpose was to keep kids out of hustle and bustle of the street. As long as cars and stampeding horses weren’t involved, parents were happy. For decades playgrounds evolved, with some of the riskier features being removed or dumbed down (turns out kids could still have fun without having to be 20 feet up in the air). When the Consumer Product Safety Commission released a handbook in 1981 with guidelines on equipment and what not to include, the plastic and rubber playgrounds of today began to take their first wobbly steps.

Story by Jay Moon