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Regulating Wisely

Lenore Skenazy, a co-founder of the free-range kid movement Let Grow, writes about the playgrounds of North Virgina:

“Welcome! Play Safe,” reads the sign at a Fairfax County Public School playground in Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. The sign also lists a few simple rules—21 of them, by my count.

Photo of a dog park fence with four signs, on of which say "Excessive barking prohibited" in all capital letters on a green background. Although, to be fair, the background of my favorite sign ever was green.

The accompanying photo shows the playground sign, versions of which I’ve been seeing so much they’ve become part of DC’s atmospheric noise, like ambulance sirens, or screams of people who may or may not be experiencing homelessness but are definitely experiencing a psychotic episode: crowded white text on a screen-of-death blue background trying to codify common courtesy.

Skenazy’s Let Grow partner Peter Gray had the best comment:

“The only restriction that needs to be added to make them complete is ‘No Playing,'”

And of course, at least one person in the article mentions that these signs are there to “mitigate the liability of the entity responsible for the playground (school, municipality, etc.) in the event they are sued.” This just in case regulatory creep is apparent everywhere, medicine being the prime example, and the expanding size of clinical protocols yet another. Yes, we have Choosing Wisely, but how about Regulating Wisely?

(↬Tyler Cowen)

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