Playground Safety Tips

The Stir Bloggers
Toddlers & Preschoolers
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playground safety

Photo by stonecolesmom

Afternoons on the playground are perfect for carefree, outdoor fun. However, as a parent, there are a few hazards you should watch out for.

Surface:

  • Many of the injuries that children receive at a playground are caused by falls. Try to find a playground that uses rubber mats, mulch, or wood chips instead of concrete.
  • The playground surface should be free of standing water and debris that could cause kids to trip and fall, such as rocks, tree stumps, and tree roots
  • Watch out for dangerous materials such as broken glass or twisted metal.

Design:

  • The playground area should be divided into three different age groups: Under 2, 2-5, and 5-12. This helps keep children from playing on equipment that was not designed for their age group.
  • Protective barriers should surround elevated surfaces.
  • Moving equipment (i.e. swings, seesaws) should be located seperate from the rest of the playground and should be checked for pinch points.
  • Toddler swings with bucket seats should have their own bay.

Equipment:

  • There should be no broken equipment.
  • Wooden equipment should be free of cracks and splinters. As well as metal equipment free of rust.
  • All openings on equipment (for example, rungs on a ladder) should measure less than 3½ inches or they should be wider than 9 inches to keep children from getting their head or other body part stuck.
  • Safer slides should be made of plastic so as not to burn the skin in hot weather.

Safety tips:

  • Never let children roughhouse on or around the equipment.
  • Make sure they use the equipment properly and that is age-appropriate.
  • Equipment should not be used if wet. The moisture makes the surface slick, causing slips.
  • Don't wear clothes with drawstrings or other strings at the playground. Drawstrings, purses, and necklaces could get caught on equipment and accidentally strangle a child.
  • Always wear shoes.
  • Educate your children about playground safety.

I know it may seem like a lot to watch out for but with proper adult supervision, a day at the playground is a perfect way for kids to spend their summer afternoons and keep them entertained for several hours (and who doesn't love that?!).

What are your playground safety tips?

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