It’s no secret that this past winter kept most of us inside for a lot longer than we would have preferred. Thankfully Spring has finally sprung and we’re quickly moving into the Summer months. We all know that with warmer weather comes more time spent outdoors. One of the most popular features of outdoor play is the playground. Whether at home or in your community, the playground is a great way to spend time with your children, socialize with neighbors, or even relax on a nearby bench.
To ensure that your family is playing it safe this summer, we’ve put together a few tips to keep in mind during your next trip to the playground:
- Maintain active supervision: Lack of supervision accounts for approximately 45% of playground-related injuries. Actively supervise by practicing the ABC’s of playground supervision.
- Anticipation – Keep your eyes open for potential problems and hazardous situations such as broken equipment, missing equipment, or exposed clasps and hardware.
- Behavior – Maintain open lines of communication with children about appropriate playground behavior. Remind your children that pushing, shoving, or crowding on the playground can be dangerous.
- Context – Keep an eye out for behavior that may require an adult to intervene.
- Take your children to a playground with appropriate surfacing: Falls account for nearly 70% of playground related injuries. Appropriate surfacing includes engineered wood fiber, rubber mulch, and sand. If your child happens to fall while on the playground, a shock-absorbing surface can provide a cushion to their fall.
- Dress appropriately: Remove necklaces, scarves, or clothing with a drawstring before playing on playground equipment. Such clothing item can catch on equipment and pose a strangulation hazard.
These are just some of the tips you should keep in mind when heading out to either your community playground or the playground equipment in your back yard. We’d love to hear what tips you keep in mind; please share in the comments!