National Safety Month: Playground Safety
Playground safety is one of the most important topics covered as part of National Safety Month. If you have a play set in your backyard or if you take your kids to the local park’s playground, you should take caution of the dangers that these structures pose, as well as the fun. While playgrounds look like entertaining and harmless places at first glance, kids are especially prone to slips, falls and other serious accidents when horsing around on the different types of playground equipment. Let us review some playground safety tips to ensure the well-being of our children.
Be Active In Your Child’s Life
Over 200,000 children per year are treated in the emergency rooms of hospitals for injuries suffered while playing on playgrounds. The majority of these injuries could have been prevented had proper supervision been in place. While it is impossible to keep a watchful eye on our kids at all hours of the day, it is possible to educate children on playground safety. They will be more inclined to take care of themselves and watch out for others if their parents give them a serious talk about playground safety before they start using recreational equipment.
Parents should go out of their way to supervise their kids while they are enjoying themselves on the playground. Kids do not always know how to properly use playground equipment and can really stand to learn a lot from a parent who wants to actively participate in his life. You will increase their safety and improve their playground experience by keeping a watchful eye and stepping in when your children need to learn how to properly use part of the playground.
Inspect The Playground Equipment
Take a good look at the playground before you let your kids on any of the equipment. Any loose machinery has the potential to break off and harm your children. Inspect the playground’s guardrails and other protective barriers as well. If there are any elevated spaces not protected by these barriers, do not let your kids use the equipment. Make sure that playground structures that stand taller than 30 inches spaced at least 9 feet apart from one another. Do not let your kids play on seesaws, swings and other playground equipment with moving parts if they are not located in their own area.
Seesaws, merry-go-rounds and other equipment with moving parts should always be be given once over instruction for pinch points that have the potential to harm your child’s fingers or hand. Each swing bay should have a maximum of two swings. Those with full bucket tot swings should each have their own bay. Take a look at the climbing nets to ensure that their openings are not too small or too large. Your child should not be able to slip through the climbing net holes. Nor should there be the potential for his head to become entrapped within the netting.
Don’t be Afraid to Involve Young Kids In Playground Safety
Before you let your kids onto the playground, you should caution them about the dangers that you have inspected for. You might even want to take them along with you on your “once through” of the playground so that they can understand what makes specific equipment safe and unsafe. Let them walk with you to ensure that there is no unbroken equipment, that the metal equipment is not rusting and the wood structures do not have splintering or cracking. Once you are sure that everything looks safe, you can let your kids onto the playground and have a good time.