We tend to think of playgrounds as the perfect opportunity for our children to have fun while developing physical and social skills. But, we don't think about them being dangerous. Yet, just how safe is your backyard or neighborhood playground?
Each year about 200,000 children get emergency treatment for playground injuries. Here are some tips on making sure your children's playground continues to be a fun place.
Supervise your children. Accidents tend to happen when adults are not there to watch over children. Regardless of age, all children require some form of adult supervision. Preschool-aged children need close watching, older children less so. Adults need to be on the lookout for potential hazards, bullying or other problem behaviors and be available in case of injury.
Consider whether playground equipment suits your child's age. Playground equipment is designed for specific age groups because children develop more advanced skills as they age. Do not allow younger children to try equipment that has not been designed for them. Likewise, do not allow older children to play hazardously on equipment that has not been designed for an older pack.
Inspect the playground area. Before allowing your children to use playground equipment, closely look over the area. Is all equipment properly anchored into the ground? Do you see any exposed sharp edges or corners? Are nuts and bolts covered and are all S-hooks closed? Are climbing ropes anchored at both ends? Is there anything on the ground, such as broken glass, rocks, or tree roots that could injure a child?
Make sure there is a soft material under the play equipment. Most playground injuries result from a fall onto the playground surface. These injures, including head trauma and broken bones, can be quite serious and even deadly. Hard surfaces like asphalt and concrete are dangerous. Likewise, grass and turf are poor shock absorbers and also unsafe. Some examples of recommended surfaces include: wood chips, double-shredded bark mulch, fine sand, shredded tires, engineered cheap avanafil and fine gravel. Usually a depth of between 6 and 12 inches of surfacing material is recommended.
Remove drawstrings from hoods, necks and children's outerwear. Never allow children to wear anything around their neck, including purses, necklaces or clothing while on the playground. These items can easily get caught on equipment and hardware. resulting in choking and injury. .
Review playground rules with your children before they begin to play.
Instruct children never to jump off a moving swing.
Tell children not to walk in front or behind a swing that is in motion.
Require that children go up and down the slide appropriately, and not climb up and over the sides.
Reinforce the importance of taking turns.
Encourage children to seek out an adult when problems arise.