During the summer, playgrounds are kids’ ultimate sanctuaries. This playtime is essential, of course—but to maximize the fun, we want to keep our children as safe as possible. Below, we highlight six tips to keep your kids safe on the playground.
Check Out the Playground First
Around 200,000 children suffer from playground accidents annually, so you want to make sure the playground is safe. Observe the structures and the areas around them and, if necessary, immediately report any dangers. Your children should not use the playground until you determine that it’s safe.
Encourage Safe Behavior
Before kids make their way onto the playground, they should primarily know to be kind to other children. Pushing, shoving, and running, especially on crowded structures, can easily cause injury—instead, everybody needs to take turns. Your kids should also be cognizant of their surroundings; they need to look where they’re going so that they can stay out of the paths of other children and moving play equipment such as swings.
Have Kids Dress Appropriately
Simply put, if your kids want to play outside, they must dress accordingly. First and foremost, children should wear the right footwear. Closed-toe shoes prevent stubbed toes and overall discomfort. Make sure your kids avoid wearing necklaces, scarves, and clothing with drawstrings or loops—anything that can get caught on equipment. Finally, although a helmet may sound like a good way to prevent head injuries, it can obstruct your child’s vision—it’s better to leave it at home.
Pay Attention to the Weather
Even if the temperature seems pleasant, you want to make sure the equipment isn’t too hot for your kids. Metal and plastic structures can easily heat up, so test the structures’ temperatures with your hand before you allow your kids to play on them. Also make sure to keep your little ones hydrated; sweltering temperatures and lots of exercise will really make them thirsty.
Search for Age-Appropriate Areas and Equipment
Children play differently at certain ages. As kids get older, they may become more forceful, which is why playgrounds often section off their play areas based on age. The equipment your kids play with should be designed for their size. As you know, structures designed for younger children aren’t suitable for older children and vice versa, so make sure your kids know this, too.
Supervise Your Kids
Supervision is crucial to your kids’ safety; parents can best determine when their children are taking foolish risks. If you have young children, stay close to them on the playground. Guide them along and show them how to use the equipment. If you have older kids, keep an eye on them from a safe distance and intervene if necessary.
This season, we hope you keep our tips to keep your kids safe on the playground at the forefront of your mind. This way, you can eliminate as many opportunities for injury as possible. Of course, kids’ injuries happen, so if your child does hurt themselves, you’ll be right there with bandages and antiseptic wipes at the ready.
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