In the United States, more than 200,000 kids are treated in hospital ERs for playground-related injuries yearly. Many of these incidents are preventable and shouldn’t happen with close adult supervision. While playing in playgrounds has been found to have beneficial developmental effects on children, it is essential to take certain safety precautions to prevent accidents from happening. Here are some tips on preventing the next accident.
Adult supervision is essential to ensure the safety of the child and that the child is attended to when an accident do occur. This is especially so for younger kids as they might be less aware of their surroundings and as such, they might not anticipate dangerous situations. On the other hand, older kids are more adventurous so it’s important to keep an eye on them as well.
When visiting a playground, ensure that your kids can be seen visibly from where you are.
Education on Playground Safety
Your kids must understand the importance of safety and act responsibly at the playground. Here are some ground rules that your child should abide to when playing.
- Never push or shove other kids
- Ensure that there are no other kids that’s using the equipment before using it
- In the summer, do not use the playground equipment if it’s too hot to touch
- Do not play at the playground when the equipment is still wet as this poses a slipping hazard
- Use the equipment as it is intended - avoid standing on swings, climbing up slides, etc.
Swings are a common cause of childhood injuries in the playground. Here are some precautions that you can take to protect your child that’s using the swing.
- Ensure that the swing is used properly – that they’re not standing or kneeling on the swings
- Ascertain that there is no one surrounding the swing as it moves
- Multiple people shouldn’t be riding the same swing. Ensure that only one person using the swing
Here are some precautions you can take to protect your child that’s using the seesaw.
- For kids aged 3-5 years old, the seesaw should have a spring mechanism to prevent sudden contact with the ground. This is to prevent them from falling off the seesaw when they’re playing on them.
- Ensure the children that are using the seesaw are around the same weight
- The users of the seesaw must be sitting down and facing each other
- Teach your child to hold on tightly when using the seesaw
- There should only be one child in each seat.
As for slides, here are some precautions you can take to protect your child.
- Ensure that there are no other kids using the slide when sliding down
- Kids should always slide down with their feet first and sitting upright
- Ensure that the bottom of the slide isn’t obstructed by anything before sliding down
Climbing Equipment Safety
Climbing equipment tends to be more challenging for kids, as such, more safety precautions should be taken to prevent accidents from happening.
- Ensure that your kids are aware of safe ways to return to the ground when they are unable to complete a climb
- Stay 5-10 inches away from other climbers who are using the same rock climbing wall
- Teach your child how to land properly – knees bent and with both feet on the ground