There are few things that excite young children as much as a playground. Slides, swings and other playground equipment can provide hours of fun and are a good opportunity for exercise and fresh air. Unfortunately, playgrounds can sometimes be dangerous as well. When the equipment is used incorrectly or is overcrowded, it can lead to accidents and injury.
Every year, emergency rooms across the country see thousands of children who have sustained injuries at playgrounds. Many of these injuries might have been avoided if simple rules were followed. We’ve put together a few ideas of playground safety tips that can help prevent your child from being hurt.
It’s sometimes easy as an adult to feel okay about turning your kids loose at the playground. The assumption is that the equipment was designed and built with children in mind, so the risk of injury should be minimal. This isn’t always true. While playground equipment may appear safe, the way a child interacts with it can make a huge difference.
Very young children are inexperienced and unfamiliar with the danger of say, walking in front of other children on the swings. They may climb high on the monkey bars only to find getting down is much more difficult. Adults need to stay alert and close by when with kids at the playground. This way, if an injury does occur, an adult is there to quickly render first aid as needed.
Age Appropriate Equipment
Not everything at the playground is appropriate for kids of all ages. It’s important to help children make the distinction of where they should play at the playground. It can be very dangerous for a young child to play on equipment that is designed for older kids. The size and shape can lead to accidents, not to mention the other kids who may be playing on the same equipment. Likewise, it’s not appropriate for older children to play on equipment meant for younger children. Older and bigger children can easily hurt smaller children even when they don’t mean to.
Wear the Right Clothing
We might not think about the way our children are dressed and how that can affect their fun at a playground. However, it’s the small things that can have the biggest impact. For example, it’s a good idea to keep a close watch on children with purses, scarves, and clothes with drawstrings. If these things were to get caught on playground equipment the wrong way, it could become a strangulation hazard.
Shorts that are too short can lead to burning from the seats of swings and hot slide surfaces. It’s also a good idea to keep toys, bikes, and skates out of the playground. They can easily be used in the wrong way and cause injury.
Teach Playground Etiquette
One important thing parents and adults can do is teach children proper playground etiquette. This includes not pushing or shoving other children. It’s also important to take turns to avoid fights and arguments that can get out of control. Teach them to avoid overcrowding playground equipment.
Hopefully, by taking an active role when your children are playing at the playground, you can help them avoid injury. There are some things that are out of your control, but the better job you do as an adult will make a difference.