Playground Safety Tips
Outdoor play offers many advantages for kids, including fresh air, exercise and the opportunity to socialize. Since any activity comes with risks, it’simportant to observe these playground safety tips.
While some states have regulations in place in regards to playground maintenance, don’t place the safety of children solely into the hands of others. Ask the responsible organization about who maintains and inspects the grounds. Even if you get a satisfying answer, examine the grounds for hazards yourself. Check for malfunctioning equipment, rust, splinters, dangerous surfaces and visibility. Sandboxes should not have any debris or bugs.
Appropriate surface materials include mulch, pea gravel, shredded rubber, sand, wood chips, synthetic turf and rubber mats. Avoid playgrounds with concrete, dirt, grass, asphalt or gravel surfaces. Make sure all play areas were designed to allow for adults to view all of the equipment where children play. If you notice anything out of order, you should report equipment, maintenance and visibility issues to the appropriate school, childcare centre, city council or park authority.
Before taking children to the playground, make sure they’re dressed appropriately, so they can’t get injured by clothing or accessories. Clothes with drawstrings can pose a strangulation hazard. The same goes for scarves, necklaces and purses.
Even the safest areas need adult supervision. While it’s tempting to catch up on your social media feeds and emails during this perceived downtime, it’s important to put down electronic devices and actively supervise kids while using playgrounds. Younger children will welcome this attention because they love showing off their climbing, swinging and jumping skills.
Older children might seem more mature but still, need supervision. That’s because they love testing limits. This not only applies to equipment but also to interact with younger kids. It takes responsible adults to keep them in check. Additionally, children of any age can’t foresee dangerous circumstances and don’t always evaluate distances correctly.
Even if kids seem responsible for their age, they won’t be able to handle emergency situations by themselves. Older ones might beg for independence, but adult supervision is necessary to keep them and the children around them safe. Most importantly, supervising children of all ages at play makes it harder for potential perpetrators to lure them away.
Since older children play differently than younger ones, the playground needs to have a separate area for kids younger than five. This area should have a smooth surface to accommodate toddlers who are beginning to walk. It’s important to keep children in the proper areas. Even if siblings of varying ages want to play together, make sure to steer each child to the age-appropriate equipment. Keep in mind that only babies who can sit up and have good head control should use bucket-shaped swings.
Outdoor leisure time plays a healthy role in regards to the social, emotional, physical and intellectual development of children. Implementing these playground safety tips will also help them stay safer.