Port Washington School District in Long Island bans footballs, soccer balls from recess

PORT WASHINGTON, New York - Worries about injuries at a Long Island middle school have led to a surprising ban.

Students at Weber Middle School in Port Washington were just informed that during recess, footballs, soccer balls, baseballs and lacrosse balls have been banned. Even rough games of tag or cartwheels are not allowed, unless supervised by a coach.

The superintendent said the charge of policy is because of a rash of playground injuries.

"Some of these injuries can unintentionally become very serious. So we want to make sure our children have fun, put are also protected," said Kathleen Maloney, superintendent of Port Washington Schools.

Without helmets and pads, children are more susceptible to getting hurt.

"Obviously, they aren't bringing protective gear out to the playground with them," said Dr. Salvatore Pardo, an emergency room director. "Head injuries, bumps, scrapes, worried about concussions."

Some parents said it's really about liability and lawsuits.

"Children's safety is paramount, but at the same time, you have to let them live life," Ellen Cohen said.

Several districts from outside Long Island are already contacting Nassau educators. Soon additional schools may be jumping on the banning-balls bandwagon.

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