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February 10, 2020

Preventing Injuries: A Guide to Playground Safety

playground safety

Playgrounds are a great way to get kids out of the house and active. They’re able to exert all their energy while having social interaction. Unfortunately, playgrounds can be dangerous if not handled with precaution. Parents should consider ways they can prevent injuries and accidents, and make sure their child understands the rules of the playground. This way everybody has a positive experience.

5 Tips for Playground Safety:

1. Look for Hazards

Sometimes cities don’t keep up with their local playground equipment. Be sure to look around for potential hazards such as rusty nails and broken equipment. You’ll then be able to warn kids and other parents about these safety concerns and save everyone some tears and a hospital visit.1

2. Consider Age

Keep in mind the capabilities of different age groups. Those under five years old may not be able to do much at the park besides swinging in the child swings. After all, you probably don’t want them to be trying to climb up the jungle gym as they may fall. Moreover, keep in mind how different age groups play. The older they are, the rougher the play may be. Try to keep your kids around others of similar ages.1

3. Teach Children Safe Behaviors

Teaching and enforcing playground rules can help keep your children safe as they start to regulate their own behavior. If you tell them pushing and shoving is big on the list of things not to do, they will hopefully keep this in mind and refrain from doing so in hopes of staying in your good graces.3

4. Avoid Wet Surfaces

Because of the outdoor element of most playgrounds, there is a chance the surfaces could be wet after it rains. It’s important to be aware of how slick the surfaces are because it may lead to children slipping and falling, causing injury. It may be best to play it safe and hold off on going to the playground when it has just rained. Be sure to monitor your children as they tend to run on the slippery areas.2

5. Consider Temperature

Depending on what the playgrounds are made out of, it is best to keep the temperature in mind. If it is hot outside and the sun is beating down, a metal slide may not be the best idea. It may burn your child’s legs or arms. Even plastic slides may be painful to slide down.

5 Tips to Share with Children:

1. Slides

While slides are very simple and easy, people can get hurt very easily when they aren’t used appropriately. Encourage one person may go at a time, and they should be sitting down facing forward. Once they reach the bottom, tell them to step away from the slide to give room for others to slide down safely.2

2. Swings

Swings can be one of the most fun activities at the playground, but they can be dangerous if you try to use them in ways they weren’t meant to be used. Direct your children to use them one at a time while sitting down. Remind them to hold onto the chains for stability, and to slow down before getting off.2

3. Seesaws

It takes two to seesaw. Enforce one person per side, but remind them how weight plays into the functionality of this equipment. If weight range between the two people using the seesaw has a large gap, either they will not move or someone will most likely get thrown from the equipment. Regardless, neither is a fun time. Be sure to face towards each other and hold on tight. If you are not using it, step away so others may enjoy.3

4. Share the Equipment

This is a public place where other children come to have fun and play. Teach your children to share the equipment, so everyone is able to have a turn. It will help with their social interactions and they can make friends in the process. Overall, it’s important they understand they should be nice to everyone which includes having to take turns even if they were at a certain station first.

5. Keep your Hands to Yourself

The number one rule of the playground is to keep your hands to yourself. There will not be any pushing, shoving, or fighting. Any physical harm is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Things should be handled with words, and if they cannot be resolved they should find an adult to mediate the situation.1

Playgrounds should be a place to have a good time and make memories. You want to be able to look back with your kids and have happy thoughts. To make this happen, there needs to be ground rules and preventative actions. Look out for your kids and give them guidelines to play by. Take your kids out to the local playground for a fun, but safe time.

  1. https://www.safekids.org/tip/playground-safety-tips
  2. https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/staying-healthy/playground-safety-tips-for-kids/
  3. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/playground.html

Categories: Child Safety Ages 4-11, Infant/Toddler Safety

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