Teens Lose Fingers in Game of Tug-O-War

Horrifying 8

In a tragic game of tug-o-war at a Los Angeles County high school on Monday, two teens lost several fingers each when the rope snapped. An 18-year-old girl lost four fingers from her right hand and her left thumb, and her male classmate, also 18, lost four fingers from his right hand.

The students were competing in South El Monte High School’s Spirit Week during the lunch hour. The injuries appear to have happened because the students wrapped the rope around their hands for more traction rather than just gripping it. They were taken to a nearby trauma center to try to reattach their fingers, but information isn't known yet as to whether they were successful.

My first thought upon hearing this was, “Oh that suuuuucks,” and the second followed on its heels, “How long before schools start banning tug-o-war?” This particular high school hasn’t said yet whether it will ban the activity, but given the trend in playground rules in recent years to practically wrap our kids in bubble wrap, it’s a definite possibility.

Side note: Last year when my daughter was 3, she fell off the monkey bars and knocked her front two teeth out. She said, “I wath on dah monkey bars, an’ I thaid, ‘Weeeee!’ An’ den nobody catched me.” I did not feel the need to ask the church group she was with to remove the dangerous monkey bars.

Anyway, there are a whole host of ‘violent’ playground games and activities that our kids will likely never experience on school grounds. Some of these might be valid, depending on your perspective, but others seem pretty ridiculous.

Red rover, red rover, send nobody right over, because that game is the number one cause of broken arms in childhood. Actually, that would be bicycle riding or roller sports. Ban all the wheels! Speaking of wheels ... 

Tire swings cause broken femurs. Actually, I think it’s the falling off of them that causes that, but whatever. They’re obviously too dangerous for our children to play with responsibly.

Running. Seriously. Running. No wonder childhood obesity is a thing.

Dodgeball has been called ‘aggressive’ and ‘unwholesome’ by many school administrators. The game that involves pegging children on the opposing team with balls until the last man’s left standing is also known as bombardment, killer ball, or even murder ball.

Imaginative play like Cops & Robbers has got to go, because heaven forbid kids bring handguns to school! And by handguns, I mean hands. Two 6-year-olds were recently suspended for pointing their fingers at each other and making banging noises with their mouths.

Do you think there’s any merit to some of these bans? Or have we taken the whole playground safety issue too far?

Image via scott1723/Flickr

activities, education, elementary school, in the news, kid activities, safety, sports, teens, school


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Coles... Coles_mom

I'm not one of those people to demand something just because one kid gets hurt, but something happened yesterday to my son at school and it's taken every fiber of my being not to rip his gym teacher's head off. My 6 year old wears VERY expensive and specialized eyeglasses and can see nothing with them off....so he has to wear them even to play sports (which he is really bad at because of no depth perception). Apparently, she let the kids play dodgeball yesterday and of course, a ball smacked him dead in the face- smashed his glasses and bruised his face up. I'm pissed.

linzemae linzemae

I hated red rover. Always got clothes lined!

Elise48 Elise48

I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've ever agreed with Jenny. It's freaking me out a little.

Rosas... RosasMummy

I would not send my kid to a school where they aren't allowed to run outside

nonmember avatar question

What happened to your daughter's teeth??? Can they replace them if that happens?

Mary Zar

Man, I do not know how I survived! When I was little I rode my bike to school every day. I can't tell you how many times I ran into the back of cars! They should have banned cars!! At school I walked backwards a lot and ran it the big poles which held the roof up! They should have banned poles! Ok, we had baby car seats which hung on the back of the seats (OK, I'm old), No seat belts, we roller skated (the old kind of skates), and took the skates apart to make our own skate boards with "Borrowed" wood from the builders, made stilts with "borrowed" wood. My brother made wooden race cars which we rode down the steepest hill around and no one blamed anyone if we got hurt! As a matter of fact we probably more likely to get in trouble at home!! I have no freaking idea how we all managed to survive. Kids today don't know about imagination and the fun of making something out of nothing. We rarely watched TV and of course we had no video games, we were healthy and it was rare for any one to be overweight. Play time was fun time and your friends mother was just as likely to "wolup" you as your own mother. We lived and had fun and not too many kids got into real trouble. I feel sorry for kids today who aren't allowed to do much of anything. Thanks for taking me down memory lane!!

wamom223 wamom223

@Coles_mom-I would have been pissed too!  You should check out the sport goggle glasses at Lenscrafters.  I don't know if they can specialize them but I feel your pain.  My son has been wearing glasses since he was 18 months and it changes things for sure.  I once had a mom tell me I was being too over protective at the playground and I said, "Back off lady its the glasses I'm worried about and unless you have $200 to give me I suggest you mind your own business."  People just don't get how wearing glasses can change things for a kid.  I don't think there is anything wrong with asking the PE teacher to let him sit out next time since he already got a bruised face out of it.

keriley1 keriley1

Oh man, I never thought I could lose my fingers!!!!

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