Monday, January 5, 2015

Liability concerns

I'm shaking my head over an Associated Press article in today's newspaper: "Liability concerns prompt some cities to limit sledding."  Some cities in Iowa and elsewhere have been closing sledding hills because of demands of insurance companies and fear of lawsuits.  Good grief!

Sledding was such a part of our life in Danvers.  Sledding, skating, and skiing.  All these winter activities carry risks, of course.  But to shut down a sledding or skiing hill seems the wrong approach. It would be better to post "Sled at your own risk" and "Ski at your own risk" signs, and let the fun continue.

I think there is a greater risk to our health (both physical and mental health) in prohibiting these activities. We'll create a society of stay-at-home, inactive people. It is healthy to go out in the cold and exercise, and to experience the thrills of near-misses, and to learn to get up from the inevitable spills and falls. Each one of us ought to accept responsibility for our own actions, and learn from our mistakes.

Those are my thoughts as I react to the newspaper article.  I'm biased, of course, because of wonderful childhood experiences on the frozen hills and ponds of Danvers, and my love for the Locust Lawn Ski Club (see my previous post), which ultimately was run out of business by the prohibitive cost of liability insurance.


Katley said...

I read the same article, and am saddened that today's kids won't have the experiences we did. I grew up in the projects and behind where my cousins lived was a fantastic sledding hill. Do you remember the Flexible Flyer sleds,wood with metal runners? You could go really fast on those (my guess was about 20 mph) A few kids ended up in the emergency room due to sledding related accidents,but risk is a part of life. One of the big thrills of my childhood was sliding down the big hill on the Flexible Flyer.

Anonymous said...

I am saddened by this too, even though I had a near miss to a really serious injury when my Flexible Flyer rocketed down the "Big Hill" in the pasture and I stopped when my chin hit a strand of barbed wire fence. I trudged back home with a trail of blood all the way on the snow. Fortunately it was bitter cold and I didn't feel too much pain. I wound up with 40 stiches and an ice cream diet for a week (not so bad!) I still bear the scar today but would not trade it for all the fun we had sledding on the hill and down Durkee Circle.

Sandy said...

Flexible Flyer sleds were the best. I remember them well. I'm pleased that our local hardware store still sells them.

Anonymous said...

I have a Flexible Flyer in my garage that my kids have outgrown. It didn't get a whole lot of use here in Tennessee. I think I will bring it north this summer.