Playing outdoors is not only good for our children’s physical fitness but also for the development of their social skills and well-being too. While we always want them to have fun, explore, and learn different things, accidents still do happen. There are actually many things that may cause injuries to children while they are at the playground such as the presence of hazards and poor safety features. However, there a lot of things that you can do to ensure the safety of your children while at the playground. Listed below are the top three ways that you should consider so you would have less worries and more fun for your children.
- Observe proper safety guidelines.
As an adult, you are in charge of looking after your children while they are playing. Most playground-related injuries are reported to have been caused by poor adult supervision. Injuries can be avoided by keeping a watchful eye on your children at all times. It is important to assist them in different activities such as rocking the swing and helping them climb up the stairs. If there are more than one adult inside the premises, it will also be practical to divide the areas and tasks among yourselves.
While the children’s safety is always the responsibility of their guardians, it is also important to teach them the basic safety rules too. Some of the rules that you may ask them to follow include staying within the playing area, waiting patiently for their turn on the slide, and asking an adult for help if their toy rolls out on the street.
- Inspect all playground equipment.
Conducting a quick survey of the area before allowing your children to play is important for identification and removal of potential hazards. Make sure that the playing area is completely fenced so that they won’t roam too far out into the streets, ponds, and other dangerous areas. Rusty metal equipment with exposed nails, plastic toys with cracks, and woodwork with splinters should immediately be sent for repair. For riding equipment, check if the seating and safety bars are in working condition. Protruding bolts, ropes, and cords are also considered as hazards.
Metal playground equipment outside the shade should be faced towards the north to minimize the heat absorbed from sunlight. Elevated platforms should be installed with safety rails. Make sure that every equipment is at least 6 feet away from the fence, trees, and other obstacles. Also, check if the playground installations are age-appropriate.
- Set up a safety surface.
Safety surfaces reduce the risk of injuries in case of accidental falls and high landings. Sand, rubber mulch, and wood fiber work great as surfacing materials while dirt and natural grass cover are not recommended. To effectively reduce the impact, an ideal surface cover must be at least 9 inches deep when compacted. Make sure that the surface is free from glass shards, sharp branches, metal pieces, animal stools, and other harmful materials.
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