Children love the playground! It is a great place for them to burn energy, socialize with other children and just have fun. In order to ensure the playground is a positive experience for our children, we must keep them safe. Each year in the United States, hospital emergency rooms treat more than 200,000 children under the age of 14 for playground related injuries. Below is a list of playground safety tips which can help prevent injuries on the playground.
- Supervise your child when on the playground. Educate your child on the dangers of pushing, shoving, or crowding. Teach your child to use the playground equipment appropriately.
- Look for age-appropriate equipment. Young children play differently than older children. It is important to have a separate play area for children under five.
- Majority of injuries occur on climbers than other equipment. Make sure your child has the ability to climb securely and steadily. If your child looks unsure, help them down and have them use equipment more suitable for their abilities.
- Dress your child appropriately for the playground. Remove necklaces, purses, scarves, or clothing with drawstrings that can get caught on equipment and pose a strangulation hazard. Bicycle helmets can even be dangerous on the playground.
- Check the playground equipment for any hazards, broken equipment, or dangerous surfaces. If there is any playground hazards, report them immediately and do not allow your child to use the equipment until it is safe. Report any hazards to the appropriate local office or organization responsible for the site.
- For parents who have babies who are mostly crawling or learning to walk, the play area should have a smooth surface. If your baby has good head control and has the ability to sit up, the baby bucket shaped swing can be an option.
- Deputy Jodi Wolfe