When I was in second grade, I split my chin on the handle of a seesaw at a playground in Riverside Park. I bled, I cried, and I got six stitches. I also got back on the seesaw a week later, injury be damned. A couple years later, that seesaw was gone, along with a jungle gym and monkey bars. These structures were replaced with newer, shorter jungle gyms and teeny stationary animals that little kids could bounce on without sustaining major face gashes. They were boring.

Today, DNAinfo reported that the Parks Department has been removing and/or altering metal spinning equipment in city playgrounds, welding the metal disks into place so children can no longer rotate on them. A Parks Department spokesperson told us the changes "were made in the interest of public safety," though she did not note the number of injuries sustained on the disks. One source says the changes have affected seven playgrounds citywide.

It's not unusual for playground equipment to be removed over safety concerns, particularly in this era of enhanced litigiousness. But some Park Slope parents are complaining that the city's so concerned about getting sued that they're over-sanitizing playtime. "This makes me completely insane. What's the point of even going to the playground?" one parent wrote to a South Slope email list. "Better lock up the swings, too." Can't people just stop having kids?

This isn't the first time parents have made this argument, and some researchers say that keeping playgrounds too safe actually hinders child development. "Children need to encounter risks and overcome fears on the playground,” Ellen Sandseter, a professor of psychology at Queen Maud University in Norway, told the Times in 2011. “I think monkey bars and tall slides are great. As playgrounds become more and more boring, these are some of the few features that still can give children thrilling experiences with heights and high speed.” A child under the age of 9 who falls and sustains an injury is less likely to have a fear of heights in later years, according to some research.

No parent wants their child to suffer serious or fatal injuries, but those aren't all that common. According to the CDC, 147 playground-related fatalities have occurred between 1990 and 2000, with 70 percent of those deaths stemming from home playgrounds. Still, over 200,000 American children per year are treated in emergency rooms for playground-related injuries, according to the Wall Street Journal.

So, playgrounds aren't as cool as they were when we were kids, now that today's youth doesn't know what it's like to lose a tooth after miscalculating the distance to the next monkey bar rung. At least it looks like most of them still have a good time on the slide.