It is always a nice breath of fresh air when our kids want to go to the playground. They get outdoors, develop learning skills (sharing, patience, etc.), they get exercise, and it allows them to be social with other children. This week, we are going to focus on the importance of playground safety – how to let our kids be the free spirits they are, but also keeping them safe.
According to KidsHealth, “Each year, more than 200,000 kids are treated in Hospital ER’s for playground-related injuries.” With that being said, we believe that it is important to not only teach children about safety on the playground, but also educate parents on what to look for when taking your children to the playground.
Adult Supervision is the most important issue to discuss when it comes to playground safety! Making sure that we, as parents, are actively supervising our children when they are on the playground. This helps to avoid injuries by making sure that our children are using the playground equipment properly. And should a fall occur, having an adult present can help ease a child’s nerves, but can also administer any necessary first aid. Older kids like to test their limits and be little dare devils when they are on the playground, so having an adult they are familiar with supervising them will hopefully prevent any unnecessary accidents.
Is the Park/Playground Safe?
When taking your kids to the playground it is always a wise idea to take a look around – just to make sure that it is a safe area to be in. Here are a few tips on what to look out for:
- Make sure there is no broken equipment
- If there is wood equipment, make sure that the wood is not chipped or splintering
- Make sure that the hardware on the equipment is secure, with no loose or broken parts; that plastic and wood show no signs of weakening or rust.
- Swing Safety – swings are usually the most frequented spots on the playground, here are some tips on how to keep kids safe on the swings:
- Be cautious of swings made with wood or metal, swings should be made with soft materials like rubber or plastic. This is so there won’t be aby instances of splintering or cuts.
- Make sure that your child is sitting on the swing and not standing or kneeling – this will help prevent any unnecessary accidents.
- Children should be tightly holding onto the chains of the swing with both hands while they are swinging and wait until they are finished swinging to get off of the swing.
- Children who are not on the swings should stay a safe distance away from those who are swinging.
- Slide Safety – slides are the second most popular attraction at the playground so it is wise to:
- Make sure children are going down the slide and not walking up the slide.
- Make sure kids are going down the slide feet first.
- Check the bottom of the slide to make sure there is a clear landing – nothing stuck at the bottom of the slide, if it is a tube slide.
Teaching Children Playground Safety
- No pushing or roughhousing while on jungle gyms, swings, slides, or any other equipment.
- Leave bikes, backpacks, and any bags in an area that will not cause trips and falls.
- Make sure children are not wearing helmets on the playground – unless it is needed
- Check playground equipment in the summertime – as some equipment can become dangerously hot from the heat.
- Make sure the children are not wearing clothes that have drawstrings or chords. Drawstrings, purses, and necklaces can get caught on the playground and accidentally strangle the child.
- Wear sunscreen when playing outside even on cloudy days – protects against sunburns
- Make sure that the park and/or playground you are going to has rubber playground flooring. Most parks and playgrounds have installed this special kind of flooring – as it makes falls less traumatic.
Summer has come and gone, but the weather here in Southern California still remains warm. And kids will continue to be playing outside and roaming free in the sunshine. It’s always good to know what to pay attention to when our kids are out playing in the park.