Playgrounds are the ultimate place to take your kids to run and play. While spending time outdoors is important for your kid’s physical development, you also need to be aware of the potential dangers that can occur in children’s play areas. According to the CDC, approximately 200,000 children are treated at emergency rooms for injuries that are sustained on a playground. Fortunately, many of these injuries are mild, and they are mostly preventable by following a few simple safety rules.
5 Safety Reminders When Taking Your Kids to the Park
Playgrounds have all of the equipment that your child needs to exercise their growing body, but you may need to bring some extra supplies. Ideally, the playground you visit will have some shade, but you will still want to pack sunscreen to protect your child’s skin. Water is essential for hydration, and a basic first aid kit is always a good thing to bring. Often, all you need is a simple bandage to fix a minor scraped knee and get your kid back to playing.
Even young children can learn how to keep themselves safe on the playground. Talk to your child about how to play correctly on kids playground equipment. Your child should know to avoid common hot spots such as where the slide meets the ground to avoid collisions. Older kids may need to be cautioned to watch out for younger ones that might not be paying attention.
Children should only play on equipment that is designed for their size, age and general abilities. Many playgrounds have signs posted that give a general age range for kids to play on the equipment. However, you may need to take other factors into consideration. For instance, your child might need to find a park with equipment that has wheelchair ramps and rails to keep them safe.
You can often spot issues with a playground during a simple walk through. Keep your eyes on the ground for potential debris that could harm a kid such as glass. Then, look at the equipment. A commercial swing set should be free from rust and with chains that are properly secured to the bars. Steps and ladders leading up to higher surfaces should not be wobbly. If you suspect that equipment is damaged, then call the number listed on the maintenance sign or the property manager.
One of the best ways to keep your kids safe at the park is to be involved. Try to avoid the temptation to spend time on your phone, and truly enjoy the moment. You can hop on a mommy and me swing, support your child as they navigate the monkey bars and start up a game of tag with the other visitors. You’ll be able to notice safety risks faster, and your kids will love having you play with them.
The combination of professionally installed playground equipment and adult supervision goes a long way toward preventing childhood injuries. Always choose playgrounds that are in good condition, and remember to join in on the fun. Your child is most likely to stay safe when you are right there interacting as they play.