Playgrounds have come a long way from where they were 10 to 20 years ago. But despite all of the improvements, playground safety is still a concern for most parents. Don’t stress, here are a few tips to help you and your children avoid any potential safety hazards.
Whether your kids play at a local playground or the one at their school, it’s a good idea to inspect the area for any safety hazards. Here are a few things to keep an eye out for:
The surface of the playground is especially important for safety, as falls are the number one cause for injuries. A fall on a hard surface can be life threatening, but soft surfaces such as wood chops, sand, shredded rubber, or mats can cushion hard falls and prevent injuries.
Playground equipment is strictly regulated. Regulations vary state to state, but here are some general equipment guidelines. Any violations should be reported to the proper authorities.
Not all playgrounds are safe for children of all ages. It’s important that your child is old enough to be playing with the kids and on the equipment at the playgrounds you visit.
One of the most important keys for playground safety is adequate adult supervision. Keep an eye on your children when you take them to the park or a playground. Volunteer at your child’s school to supervise them during recess.
Adults need to be present on the playground to prevent danger, but also in the event that a child does get hurt.
Teach your children how to play safely—without scaring them too much. Explain that it’s important to avoid things like garbage, playing on broken equipment, or doing scary things which can be dangerous.
It is also very important to teach your children about stranger danger. Explain that they should never talk to strangers and that if they ever feel frightened, to leave and find the supervising adult to inform them of the situation.
Playgrounds are great way for children to get outside, get exercise, and run off their energy. It’s fun for them—by staying safe, you and your children will continue to enjoy going outside to play. Have fun!