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Winter Playground Safety Tips

By Whirl Construction (459 words)
Posted in Commercial Playgrounds on November 6, 2014

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         Playground time is important for childhood development of skills such as social interaction and problem solving. Playtime should not be limited to warm weather months because kids still require the stimulation that playgrounds provide. Be sure to follow winter safety rules to keep your kids safe on the playground.

Why Play Outside in Cold Weather?

Adults tend to prefer the warmth of the indoors during the winter. However, kids are just as happy to run around in the snow and to continue playground time without interruption. There are several valid reasons for maintaining play outdoors in the winter. Some of these being that playing outdoors provides children with necessary vitamin D, it provides them with a source of exercise and outdoor play helps build a child's immune system. These benefits are in addition to imagination stimulation, problem solving skill development and social interaction.

Look at the Landscape

            Late fall is the perfect time to perform any landscape upkeep that may be necessary. One important aspect to check in regards to winter playground safety is trees near the playground. During the spring and summer these trees provide cooling shade for children, but in the winter these same branches can become dangerous. Trim any branches that are in danger of being a hazard to safe playground play.

Check Equipment

            In addition to paying attention to the landscape, it is important to make sure that playground equipment is structurally sound. Winter weather results in snowfall, which can get quite heavy at times. Wood playground equipment is particularly prone to weather damage in wet conditions. Check equipment frequently for signs of premature wear and tear, such as cracks. Additionally, look for any protrusions or rough edges on equipment. These are potential dangers during any weather. However, in the winter when children are wearing clothing items such as hats, gloves and scarves, protrusions and edges can present more of a problem.

Dress Appropriately

            Dressing children appropriately for outdoor play is important year round, not just in the winter. However, there are special considerations where winter dressing is concerned. Winter requires extra layers and additional clothing items such as hats, scarves and gloves. These items often have strings or hang from the body, which can present a danger when children are on playground equipment. Take precautions by tucking loose ends into coats or the hat and gloves themselves.

When the weather turns cold, it can be tempting to stay bundled up inside where it is warm and cozy. However, it is important to keep kids active during the colder months. Use winter playground safety tips to keep kids active and safe. 

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