An online petition is stirring a wave of controversy about a well-known sculpture on the Halifax waterfront.

Ian Palmer started a petition calling on the Halifax Regional Municipality to make the Wave safer after he said his son fell off the two-metre tall sculpture. Palmer is asking Halifax regional council to install a barrier on top of the Wave to prevent future falls.

A sign posted next to the public art piece reads, "For your protection do not climb."

Palmer's suggestion spurred a torrent of online responses. The majority ridiculed the idea.

The petition elicited such a strong reaction in Halifax #wavedad started trending nationally on Twitter.

"I think we should work on banning everything without rounded corners. For the safety of the children of course," tweeted Evan Fralick.

"Halifax Harbour is deep. People fall in sometimes. Perhaps we should add several hundred tons of Jello powder?" tweeted user @hpstrawberries.

"We're helicoptering our kids too much," said Luba Krywonizka.

Donna Hiebert, the creator of the Wave, said the sculpture was never meant to be climbed.

"It's really up to the parents. If they don't want their children on the sculpture then they should not allow their children on the sculpture," she said.

Hiebert said she's opposed to altering the sculpture to make it safer.

"Of course as a parent, you would make sure your child couldn't fall off in water," she said.

"In the same way, if you feel your child could be harmed by climbing the Wave and falling off it, you should not allow your child to do that."