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Safety First: How to Keep Kids Safe at the Playground

By Whirl Construction (546 words)
Posted in Commercial Playgrounds on August 22, 2019

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Summer is here, and that means kids (and parents!) are enjoying more time outdoors. We all know that getting outside and engaging in play is key to healthy physical, mental, and emotional development for children. But it’s also important to ensure our kids are safe while they’re outdoors. Here are three tips for prioritizing safety on the playground


Prepare for Play

Playground safety begins before you even walk out the door of your home. Make sure children are wearing appropriate play attire for your location and weather. Choose sturdy shoes such as water shoes or tennis shoes - flip flops are more likely to break or cause a child to slip and fall. And, of course, put on sunscreen and/or bug repellant before heading outside. 

Use Your Eyes

Today’s playgrounds are designed with many built-in features, such as safety surfaces, that help to minimize accidents during play. But the best way to keep kids safe is simply to keep an eye on them. Position yourself so you can see your children while they are playing. Be aware of other adults and children on the playground, and take note of all exits. In case of an emergency, you should know where your children are, how to get to them, and how to get out of the playground as quickly and safely as possible. 

Follow the Rules

Playgrounds are meant to encourage imagination, social engagement, sensory immersion, and free play. However, it’s important to use the equipment as intended. If a child is climbing on the outside of a structure that’s not intended for such use, they could injure themselves and others. While free play is encouraged, be sure children are using playground equipment as intended to minimize accidents. 

Check the Surface

Rising temperatures can cause hot spots- even on plastic playground equipment - that can burn exposed skin.  Before allowing your children to play, test the surface temperature of equipment by placing your hand on areas that are in direct sunlight. 

Also, keep in mind that shaded areas can become ideal resting spots for summer critters. If visiting a playground early in the morning, check slides and other covered areas for snakes. Last, briefly examine the area for ant beds, wasp nests, and other concerns, and alert maintenance if pest control is needed. 

Play Well Together

Playgrounds offer children a chance to interact with a variety of age groups and abilities. It’s also an opportunity to practice social skills like sharing, taking turns, and working together. If a child is playing too roughly, cutting in front of other children, or bullying, speak up. Encourage children to be kind and considerate to others to make playtime more pleasant and minimize accidents. 

The most important rule of the playground should go without saying: have fun! Summers were made for lots of outdoor fun and exploration, so get outside and enjoy the fresh air and longer days. Looking for the best playground in your neighborhood? Check out our blog post featuring the coolest playgrounds in the tri-state area

Whirl Construction has been leading the Tri-State area in park and playground construction for more than 35 years. To learn more, or to discuss a project with our design team, reach out to us today.

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International Playground Contractors Association New Jersey Recreation and Park Association Certified Playground Safety Inspectors Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute