Playgrounds are busy places this time of year, especially on these beautiful summer days! Each year, more than 200,000 kids are treated in hospital Emergency Rooms for playground-related injuries. Many of these injuries could have been prevented. We want kids to have lots of fun, but also not to get hurt in the process. Teach your children what the rules are at the playground and what to look for to protect them.
It is extremely important that there is adult supervision at the playground. This helps to make sure kids are using playground equipment properly and can prevent unsafe behavior on the playground equipment as well as the playground area.
Getting ready to go to the playground:
1. Wear sunscreen so you don’t get burned. The sun can also make metal playground equipment hot which can burn your skin.
2. Wears shoes that keep your feet safe. Do not go barefoot. You may get a cut or a splinter.
3. Do not play on wet playground equipment. You could slip and fall.
4. Do not play on any broken equipment on the playground. Tell an adult if you see broken equipment.
Safety Tips for Playground Equipment
Slides – Climb the ladder one step at a time holding onto the handrails. Always slide feet first and sitting up, never head first or lying down. Make sure the bottom of the slide is clear before sliding down. Upon reaching the bottom, get up and move out of the way for the next person. Never climb up the slide, someone may slide down and hit you.
Swings – Always sit in the swing. Do not stand or kneel. Hold on tightly with both hands while swinging. Only one person per swing. Wait until the swing stops before you get off. Be cautious walking in front of or in back of moving swings.
Follow basic safety rules with regard to most playground equipment. Climb stairs, steps, or ladders slowly, one step at a time. Hold on to the handrails. Do not climb or slide on the equipment support poles or beams.
Some types of equipment have been labeled as unsafe. Hopefully this equipment has been removed from playgrounds, but there still may be some out there. Try to avoid these with your children:
1. Animal figure swings.
2. Glider swings that hold more than 1 child at a time.
3. Swinging ropes that can fray, unravel, or form a noose. Any type of rope attached to play equipment can be a hazard. Never let your child tie jump ropes, etc. to any play equipment.
4. Exercise rings and trapeze bars
5. Monkey bars
Be sure to reiterate these safety rules to your children for every trip to the playground. Unfortunately, not all kids follow the rules, so help keep your kids safe by providing supervision as well as having them know the rules beforehand.