5 playground safety guidelines
Playgrounds are a great way for kids to have fun while getting some much-needed exercise, but they can also be dangerous for those who don’t know or follow playground safety guidelines. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 200,000 children seek medical care due to playground injuries every year.
“Some of these are simple falls and scraped knees and bruises,” said pediatric orthopedist Christopher Hydorn, MD. “Other injuries, such as broken bones, can be more significant.”
He offered some guidelines for playground safety to help keep your kids safe and minimize injuries.
- Have a clear line of sight on your kids. Make sure you’re in a place where you can see them while they’re playing so you can stop them before they get into trouble. Avoid blind spots caused by trees.
- Use the equipment appropriately. Make sure kids are climbing the monkey bars or using the slide as it’s meant to be used. “One of the most significant injuries occurs when they’re using the slide backwards or jumping off the sides,” Dr. Hydorn said.
- Avoid wearing items that can get caught on equipment. Things like necklaces, drawstrings or jump ropes can be dangerous. Avoid having those loose items while kids are going down the slide, climbing on the monkey bars or even swinging on the swings.
- Don’t wear bike helmets on the playground. If you ride your bike to the playground, take your helmet off when you get there. The straps around your neck can sometimes get caught on the equipment and become a choking hazard. “Simply taking that helmet off while you’re not riding a bike is a simple way to avoid a pretty significant injury,” Dr. Hydorn said. “And then of course put your helmet back on when you ride your bike home again.”
- Watch the weather. If a thunderstorm pops up and there’s lightning, seek shelter immediately. If it is sunny, wear sunscreen – and remember to reapply every two hours. Also be careful with the equipment during the early afternoon and peak sun hours. Some of the equipment, especially if it’s made of dark-colored plastic or metal, can get very hot out in the sunshine, causing burns on bare skin. Make sure your child’s skin is covered, and always check to make sure the slide isn’t too hot before sliding down.
By helping your kids follow these simple playground safety guidelines and other summer safety tips, you can all enjoy a fun day at the playground.
Find the care you need, close to home
Our primary care physicians provide well visits and everyday care when you need it with compassion and expertise.Find Primary Care Near You