Now that the weather has been warm for some time, your kids may be asking you to take them to the local park or playground to pass time during the summer days. Taking your child to the playground, whether a local park or a nearby schoolyard provides them with the opportunity to exercise, use their imagination, and stay active. As a parent, ensuring that your child is safe is extremely important prior to letting them run around and play.
Unfortunately, playground injuries are very common amongst young child. Most playground incidents can be avoided by taking certain precautions and proper parental supervision.
Supervise your children. By being present while your child is actively playing on playground equipment, you can ensure that your child is properly using the equipment provided in a safe manner. If for some reason something does happen to your child, you will be present to attend to their needs immediately and administer first aid if necessary.
Parental supervision is suggested for both young and older children. Younger children often times have a more difficult time judging distance, or think that they can overcome obstacles that they may fall short at. For example. Let’s say that your 3 year old wants to jump from one part of the play structure to another, but falls short and bumps their head. By being present your child will have the immediate attention that they need. Older children often like to misuse equipment, as a parent or guardian, you will be able to correct improper behavior before someone whether the older child, or a nearby younger child gets hurt as a result of their activity. For example. Let’s say a 12 year old child beings to climb the poles of the swing set to sit on the bar. This is definitely not a safe decision and by supervising your child you can stop the action in its tracks before a potentially dangerous fall occurs. Always supervise your children of any age on a playground.
Inspect the playground. Making sure the playground is a safe area for your child is also extremely important. Look at the ground underneath the play structures or swings. It should absolutely NOT be concrete or hard stone. Safe playscapes will have rubber, grass, wood chips or pea gravel as a padding in case your child falls, which they will at some point in time.
Check the play structure for sharp points or foreign objects such as glass, or twisted metal that is sticking out. If the play structure is made of wood, there should be no cracking or splintering. If you notice that your local park deems unsafe, contacting the school or city officials is highly suggested to ensure that it is repaired before a child gets injured.
Of course there is no way to completely prevent a child from being injured. They will run and fall, get cuts and scrapes, or bumps and bruises. All children no matter how may eyes are on them or how safe a structure is, will at some point get hurt. But, certain things can be prevented and as a parent or guardian it is your job to ensure that your child is safe.
If something that you have seen on a playground raises a red flag, feel free to ask us or another parent if it is something to be concerned about. It is our job to work together to ensure that our children are as safe as can be!