Playground time gives your kids an opportunity to get some good exercise, fresh air and some sun. Before letting your kids go crazy in the playground, here are some safety tips that you should keep in mind.
Either you or your spouse should go with your kids to the playground. Leaving them unsupervised makes them vulnerable not only to injuries but to predators. Teach them how to use playground equipment properly. If one of the kids get injured or hurt, you can be there to apply some first aid or even take him to the hospital.
The surface under the playground should be filled with mulch, sand, pea gravel or shredded rubber. It should be soft and thick enough in case a child falls. This way the impact on the child’s body is softened.
Avoid concrete, blacktop and asphalt. Even soil and grass are unacceptable because they can turn into mud when it rains. Look out for rocks and other materials that can cause kids to trip.
Not all equipment in the playground is age appropriate. Playgrounds are grouped into 3 age groups – children 2 years old and under, 2-5 year olds and 5 to 12 years old. Some playgrounds have separate areas for different age groups. Obviously, younger children should not play with equipment that is designed for the bigger, older kids.
Check for guardrails on high equipment such as slides. Check if there is ample space between equipments. If there are rails, check if your child can be trapped in the spaces in between. His head, arms or legs can be trapped in these spaces. Climbing nets are another entrapment hazard. For merry-go-rounds or seesaws, check for pinch points where your child can get his finger or skin pinched or crushed.
Teach your kids
As a parent, you can only do so much to protect your kids. The best way is to teach them to practice playground safety and to be responsible. They should not push and play rough with other kids in the playground. Teach them to be respectful of other children and to take turns using the equipment. Let them test the equipment first like touching slides if they are too hot. Hot slides during the summer can burn your child’s sensitive skin.
Dress the part
Be sure to dress your child properly according to the weather. Let them wear waterproof or UV protection clothing. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen. Avoid clothes with drawstrings and jewelry. Don’t make them wear purses. These things can get caught on equipment and accidentally strangle them.
Play time outside the house is an essential part of your child’s life. Make them more fun by practicing these safety tips.
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