Expert opinion on banning monkey bars

The most popular piece of playground equipment, the monkey bars, has sparked a heated debate across the ditch, with some people calling for them to be banned. 

In New Zealand, around 2600 people are injured on monkey bars, according to ACC figures. 

In Australia, a number of people want them to banned after research from Monash University's Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit found over the past decade there has been a 41 percent increase in emergency department presentations in Victoria as a result of monkey bar injuries.

Sydney University of Technology professor of risk management David Eager chaired the Australian Standards playground equipment committee, which has improved the safety of the popular equipment. 

He told The AM Show he agrees with the figures but to ban monkey bars is an overreaction. 

"They are the most popular piece equipment by a country mile," Prof Eager says.

The surface underneath the monkey bar coupled with the way a child falls onto the surface causes the injury, he says.

Previously, hard surfaces were found underneath monkey bars, but softer surfaces such as bark or rubber have been introduced in Australia, reducing the risk of injury.

And while kids can injure themselves on them, there are benefits to monkey bars, he says.

"Part of what playgrounds do, is they gradually introduce children to manage forms of risk. 

"If they don't go outside and don't play in environments that challenge that risk and we give them keys to the car they'll end up killing themself."

Watch the full interview in the video above.