8 Tips for Playground Safety

8 Tips for Playground Safety

During this time of year, the weather is beautiful, and little ones are heading back to school, which means kids are excited as ever to hit the jungle gym. Playgrounds are a great place for children to enjoy some fresh air and get some exercise. However, playgrounds can also be a major safety hazard if parents aren’t careful. More than 200,000 children in America end up in the ER every year as a result of playground-related injuries.

With this in mind, here are a few easy tips that parents can keep in mind to reduce those playground injuries.

  1. Check the ground. The number one reason kids get hurt on playgrounds is because they fall. This is why you need to check the ground and make sure that it is soft enough to lessen the blow of a fall. Playgrounds should have at least 12 inches of wood chips, sand mulch or be covered in a safety rubber.
  2. Look for sharp edges. Unfortunately, due to the nature of playground structures, these devices tend to have lots of nails, bolts and other sharp devices in them that help keep the structure in place. Do a once-over before your child goes on the playground to make sure there isn’t anything sharp that may cut them.
  3. Keep kids away from tripping hazards. Tree stumps, concrete footings and slide bases can all be major fall hazards.
  4. Guardrails should be spaced properly. Every guardrail that could trap a child should be less than 4 inches or more than 9 inches apart.
  5. Always supervise your kids while they are playing. This is an obvious tip but one that is worth repeating. It is easy to assume that other parents watching their kids will be able to keep an eye out for your little one as well. Never assume this. Even with older kids, you should be supervising at all times.
  6. Check net openings. Many playgrounds have nets for climbing on them, but before you kid starts crawling all over them, check the perimeter. It should be less than 17 inches or more than 28 to prevent strangulation.
  7. Tall structures should be spaced apart. Any tall structures that are 30 inches or higher should be 9 feet or more apart from each other.
  8. Check that the equipment is in good condition. This means making sure that the area looks clean, stable and well taken care of. It also means it should be secure. There should be plenty of padding under swings, and every elevated surface should have guardrails on either side to prevent kids from falling.

If you are looking for more safety tips to help keep your child healthy and safe this year, then give Continuum Pediatrics a call at 817-617-8600.