Playgrounds provide the perfect opportunity for your children to get outdoors, release some energy, enjoy the fresh air, stay active, and of course, socialize with other children doing the same thing!
As you know, playing is important for your child’s social and physical/cognitive skill development. Due to the fact that outdoor playgrounds provide an array of equipment options like swings, slides and monkey bars, these can all be used to assist your child in developing those important skills; problem-solving and social skills are incorporated continuously when it comes to playground activity.
Of course, like many sources of fun and activity, there is always a risk of unpleasant outcomes as well; injuries do take place and while sometimes only minor, they can be much more concerning as well.
Here are a few easy but important, safety measures you should take as a parent, to help protect your children from potential injury.
Ensure the Playground is Safe
- It’s highly recommended that you do a brief walk around playground equipment before allowing your child to use any of it. This allows you to catch any potential dangerous objects lying around such as glass or syringes.
- Take a look at the safety surface to determine whether it is wood chips, sand, gravel, or rubber. If your child were to have a fall, the type of surface at hand will largely impact how severe the injury may or may not be.
- If possible, stay away from playgrounds that feature surfaces that won’t absorb impact, such as asphalt and concrete. These surfaces could cause considerable injury.
- Take a look at the equipment’s construction; do all parts look like they are attached correctly and are working properly? Look at the hardware specifically for any missing screws or loose bolts.
- Keep your eyes peeled for tripping hazards as well, like loose stepping stones or rocks that may have shifted.
Use Age Appropriate Playground Equipment
- Another common cause of getting injured at a playground occurs when equipment being used is not for that child’s particular developmental levels, age or size. It’s extremely easy for a child to get injured when he or she is using a climber or tunnel that is too large or too small for the child’s weight or height.
- Look for posted signs indicating the recommended age for the playground equipment. Especially if you have young children like toddlers, you should really look for a playground that is customized for kids of their age.
- Prior to heading out for the day to the playground, double check that your child or children, are dressed as they should be to ensure comfort and safety, at all times.
- For safety purposes, stay away from clothing that fit loosely, as these could quickly get snagged or caught on rails/posts, at the park. Anything around your child’s neck should be removed before they enter a playground; this includes scarves, necklaces, hooded sweatshirts (with ties), and anything else that could lead to strangulation.
- Have your child wear closed-toe shoes with laces tightly tied; stay away from flip flops or sandals as these will not keep feet protected from injury.
- Always remember to put sunscreen on your kids!
Watch Your Children at All Times
Finally, the simplest but most critical ways to keep your kids safe at the playground is to monitor them at all times. If you are the parent of toddlers or preschool-aged children, you may even need to accompany them on the equipment or at the very least, stand within arm’s reach of them. This way, if something goes wrong, you’ll be right there to react immediately.
SPI is an industry leader in outdoor playground components. We design and manufacture a variety of playground components, providing our customers with a variety of colours and designs to meet your unique needs. Contact us today by email or by phone at 519-935-2211.