Keep Kids Safe on the Playground
If you’re planning to visit a play park or playground this summer, we have some tips about playground safety. Although playgrounds are an excellent setting for exercise and fun, we at 24/7 Pediatric Care Centers know that more than 200,000 children are treated in the emergency room for playground-related injuries each year. Generally speaking, if your children’s playground has a safe (soft and thick) surface, with equipment in good condition and moving equipment like swings and seesaws positioned away from static equipment, the odds are better that they will have a safe, enjoyable experience!
- Younger children should be supervised by an adult on the playground at all times.
- Ensure children only climb and play on equipment appropriate to their age. Children younger than five may not have the upper-body strength to climb equipment built for older children. Limit preschoolers to climbing up only five feet and school-age children to seven feet.
Swings and Slides
- Teach children to swing sitting down, not standing and not more than one child to a swing at a time.
- Supervise young children and remind all children to stay well clear of active swings.
- Instruct children that going down a slide should only be done feet first, not head first.
- Monitor slides so only one child is on the platform at a time and is able to clear the bottom before another child begins to slide.
- Read park rules to children before they enter, and help to enforce them.
- Have children wear water shoes with non-skid soles to avoid slips and falls.
- Remind children not to swallow or inhale water from the jets.
- Discourage children from rough housing with or pushing other children.
- Encourage children to park their bikes and backpacks away from the equipment.
- Ensure children are not wearing necklaces, purses, or clothes with drawstrings or cords to prevent choking injuries.
The well-respected Nemours Foundation states on its www.kidshealth.org website that the following types of equipment are not safe for playgrounds:
- Animal figure swings
- Glider swings for two children
- Swinging ropes
- Exercise rings and trapeze bars
- Monkey bars