This Salon article explores efforts to make playgrounds so safe that they result in removing much of the play as well as what could be termed "play skills." It will spark many memories.
My own childhood playground in Phoenix included slides, merry-go-rounds, and jungle gyms. The temperature of the slides and jungle gyms became what you would expect metal to get in Phoenix when the weather is hot, hot, hot. We never thought much about it. As for the merry-go-rounds, the entire idea was to have friends who would spin it so those on the twirling disk - or about to jump on - would have a good and fast ride. I suppose it was some personal injury attorney's dream.
But we enjoyed these torture devices and I never heard of anyone complaining or filing a suit. If someone got hurt, there was a visit to the school nurse. It was no big deal.
And, by the way, we were even permitted to run and play tag.