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Play it Safe: Back to School Playground Safety Tips

By Whirl Construction (571 words)
Posted in Commercial Playgrounds on October 13, 2014

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Playgrounds are meant to provide children with space to explore, be social and have fun. While you want your child to enjoy playground time, you also want to ensure safety. Follow these five tips to ensure that your child has a great time, and that you have peace of mind, while at the playground.

Adult Supervision

            It is critical that children be supervised by adults at all times while they are playing at playgrounds. Younger children often do not fear heights on playground equipment and do not have the depth perception that adults do. Having an adult at the playground is crucial so that injuries can be addressed immediately. When assessing a playground for your children, check to see how visible your child will be when playing. Many playgrounds are built so that parents, and other adults such as teachers, have a clear view of children playing on the equipment from all angles.

 Appropriate Dress

If you know your child is going to be playing on a playground at school, or if you are taking him/her on a weekend, be sure that your child is dressed appropriately. When heading to a playground, take off any loose or hanging items such as scarves, necklaces or strings attached to clothing. Leaving these items on your child is dangerous as these pieces of clothing may catch on playground equipment and cause an injury.

 Inspect the Equipment

Whether you are taking your child to a public playground or the one at his school, it is important that you take a look at the condition of the playground equipment. Check to see that the materials are clean and that there is nothing broken. Metal playground equipment should not be rusted and there should not be any hardware that is loose or hanging out. If your playground has an area such as a sandbox, be sure to conduct a quick search for any hazardous items such as broken glass.

Be Prepared

Most parents are used to carrying additional items when they go out with their children and a playground outing is no exception. It is always a good idea to bring a first aid kit along so that injuries can be taken care of on the spot if necessary. If you do not want to carry a comprehensive first aid kit, carry a bottle of hand sanitizer, a small tube of antibacterial ointment and band-aids. These are the most commonly needed items for minor injuries and it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Assess Playground Design

The safest playgrounds are those in which there are clearly designated play areas for young children and older children. The design of the playground and the equipment is important as play areas for younger children require smaller proportioned equipment than areas for older children. For maximum safety, swings should be limited to two per bay and should be at least two feet apart. Also look for the types of material used. The safest types of material are those that are shock-absorbing as these are easy on little bodies.

Taking your child to the playground should not be a scary experience. Following basic common sense and safety rules guarantee both you and your child enjoy the playground. 

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