The playground equipment that we had when I was growing up in the '60's would be classified way too dangerous today, but we had fun. I don't remember anyone where I lived get an injury anything more serious than a broken arm. Nobody died. We all survived.
My husband told me back when he was a kid in England, he and a bunch of friends would go to an area that used be a landfill. It was a swampy area where there was still some garbage around and of course rats would be hanging around. Hubby said that he and his friends played Robin Hood and Tarzan and had a whale of a time. No one got hurt. No one got sick. Parents didn't panic.
Let kids be kids. Let them have fun exploring and being creative. They'll end up all the better for it.
Today's National Post has a great article on how our children are coddled today.