Playground Safety Tips for Parents
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 200,000 kids are sent to the emergency department due to injuries associated with playground equipment.
With the warm weather comes more frequent trips to the park. Whether your children are clamoring for the last swing, running for the slide, or building a fort in your backyard, it’s always best to observe some playground safety tips that can help your young ones stay safe on a perfect sunny day.
Choose the Right Play Area
Is the equipment safe? The first step to protecting your children is to ensure that your children are using the proper equipment for their age. Some playgrounds offer safe areas for children under five.
Give the equipment a once-over to make sure that it is in good condition and properly maintained. Check if there are no sharp edges or protruding bolts or hooks that could harm your child. Also, ensure that none of the equipment moves around unintentionally when in use.
If the playground has a net around any of the equipment, check if the openings are less than 17 inches or more than 28 inches. This can help prevent your child from getting tangled up or getting their head caught in the netting.
If there are guardrails on any of the playground sets, be sure there are no openings big enough for your child to fit through.
Safe Surface Under the Playground
Surfaces like dirt, grass, asphalt, and gravel can harm your child if they fall from the playground sets. Some safe surfaces include:
- Shredded rubber
- Rubber mats
- Pea gravel
Surfacing should be at least a foot deep and extend at least 6 feet in all directions of the playground equipment’s perimeter. For swings, it should extend at least twice the height of the suspension bar.
More Playground Safety Tips
Even when the equipment is safe and there is proper surfacing, supervision should always be your first line of defense. It may be tempting to get lost in a good book or scroll through social media while your child uses the play area. However, be sure to keep a watchful eye on them while using the equipment.
On a sunny day, check the equipment to make sure it’s not too hot for your child to play on. Pay particular attention to playground slides and swings so they don’t cause burns when your child sits on them.
Let your child wear clothing that fits well – not too baggy or too tight. Also, make sure their clothes don’t include drawstrings or cords that might get caught on some of the equipment.
Stay Healthy With Us
Sometimes emergencies can’t be avoided even if you did follow these playground safety tips. If this is the case, be sure to visit our emergency room in Cibolo, TX.
“Playground Safety Tips,” Safe Kids, https://www.safekids.org/tip/playground-safety-tips
“10 Tips for Playground Safety,” Rise and Shine – Children’s National, https://riseandshine.childrensnational.org/10-tips-for-playground-safety/