With summer in full swing, your little ones may be enjoying some fun in the sun at the local playground. It’s a great place to get exercise! Before you head out however, take a moment to make sure it is safe with these easy tips.
- Check For Hidden Hazards — Look carefully for razor blades, broken glass, insects or snakes.
- Examine the Equipment — Stay away from equipment with sharp points or broken edges. Playground equipment with moving parts, like seesaws, should be checked for pinch points that could pinch or crush a child’s finger or hand.
- Check for heat – In the summertime, equipment can become dangerously hot, especially metal slides, handrails, and steps. Use your judgment – if the equipment feels hot to the touch, it’s probably not safe or fun to play on.
- Ensure A Soft Landing — Make sure play equipment has at least 12 inches of mulch, wood chips, sand or pea gravel, or mats made of safety-tested rubber.
- Remove All Strings — Never let your child play on equipment while wearing a backpack or clothing with strings.
- Check Fencing – The fence surrounding a public playground should be in good condition to prevent kids from running into surrounding traffic.
- Adult Supervision – This is key! Help prevent injuries by making sure kids properly use playground equipment and don’t engage in unsafe behavior around it. Teach them not to stand on swings, climb outside guardrails, and to slide down feet first. Remind them not to push or roughhouse while on jungle gyms, slides, and other equipment to avoid others from being injured too. If an injury does occur, an adult can assist the child and administer any needed first aid right away. Young kids (and older ones too, sometimes) can’t always gauge distances properly and aren’t capable of foreseeing dangerous situations by themselves. Older kids like to test their limits on the playground, so it’s important for an adult to be there to supervise.