Playground Safety Tips
Every year, the last week of April is designated as National Playground Safety Week. This year’s event runs from April 26 to April 30, 2021, and there are a variety of ways you can take part.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 200,000 kids under the age of 14 are taken to the emergency room each year for playground-related injuries. Around half of these injuries are fractures, contusions, and abrasions, but around 10% are children who suffer concussions or other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
While these numbers may not seem high in the grand scheme of things, most of these injuries are preventable. All it takes is some education and a few safety tips for parents and children alike for us to lower these numbers and keep kids safer on the playground.
Playground Safety Tips for Parents
As a parent, babysitter, grandparent, or any other adult who is supervising a child on a playground, the most important thing you can do to keep kids safe is to actively watch them. Regardless of the child’s age, supervision is a major factor in preventing playground injuries.
You should also:
- Read all playground signs and instructions before allowing a child to play.
- Inspect playground equipment while looking out for hazardous materials, debris, or broken equipment.
- Make sure the playground has soft material underneath, such as wood chips, sand, or mulch.
- Check guardrails to ensure they are in good condition.
- Look out for tripping hazards like branches, stumps, or rocks.
- Avoid equipment with ropes. They may be fun, but ropes put children at risk for strangulation injuries.
- Dress your child appropriately to avoid overheating, apply sunscreen, and bring plenty of water.
- Make sure the child is using age-appropriate equipment, as some children may not have developed the motor skills necessary to safely use parts of the playground.
- Check playground equipment surface temperatures with your hand. If it’s too hot for you to touch, it’s too hot for a child to play on.
- Practice safe falls. Kids are kids, and trips and falls are going to happen. Teach your children how to tuck and roll when falling to minimize potential injuries.
Playground Safety Tips for Kids
Whether your child is with you or another adult at a playground, make sure they know to keep the following playground safety rules in mind:
- Never push or roughhouse with another child while on playground equipment
- Use all equipment properly and according to the playground rules
- Check to make sure no other children are in the way before sliding, swinging, or jumping
- Never wear hoodies, necklaces, or any clothing or accessory that has strings attached while playing on a playground
- Leave things like bikes, bags, toys, and backpacks to the side of the playground so nobody trips on them
- While you should always wear a bike helmet while baking, you should never wear it while playing on the playground
- Don’t play on the playground if it’s wet, slippery, or raining
- Always ask the adult you’re with to help you apply sunscreen
Every parent hopes the playground their child is using is regularly inspected and well-maintained, but that’s not always the case. As a parent, it is not only your duty to inspect the playground before your child uses it, but to report any safety hazards or broken equipment to the organization responsible for the playground (schools, parks, city authorities, etc.).
If your child was injured on a playground as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to seek compensation for their injuries. Click here to schedule a free consultation with the personal injury lawyers at Mulligan Attorneys, or call us at 910-763-1100.