GUEST BLOG: Summer Safety Tips
With summer in full swing, playgrounds quickly fill up with kids looking to run and play and parents looking for a place for kids to expend some pent-up energy. Playgrounds in our cities and towns also work as de facto community centers, a place to catch up with neighbors and friends, host birthday parties and barbecues, and enjoy some fun in the sun. ??Unfortunately, playgrounds can also become the source of serious injuries. The Centers for Disease Control report that more than 200,000 children under the age of 14 each year receive treatment in emergency departments for playground-related injuries. You can take steps to protect kids—these summer safety tips will help everyone to have fun and stay safe on the playground this summer.
Provide Adult Supervision – ?Of all the summer safety tips we could offer, adequate adult supervision rises to the top of the list. You can avoid many accidents through adult supervision at the playground. ??Adults can quickly assess a playground for potential hazards and set some ground rules for kids. For example, slides were made for going down, not up. Setting a ground rule like this on the slides can prevent collisions between kids. ??Adults can also quickly intercede when play becomes dangerous or kids use equipment inappropriately. If a parent or other adult is watching kids on the playground, they can act before a situation results in injuries, or even a fight and some tears.
Age-Appropriate Equipment – ?Development happens in stages and not all playground equipment is appropriate for all kids. Look for parks with a variety of equipment that works for younger kids, ages 2-5, and older kids, ages 5-12. Even better, visit parks with two sets of equipment, one for younger kids and one for older kids. ??Some general guidelines to help determine the age appropriateness of equipment include:
• Children ages 2-5 should not climb over five feet;
• Older children should not climb over seven feet;
• Younger children should use shorter slides and multiple access points including ramps, ladders and steps.
Many parents also set a rule that if a child can’t negotiate a piece of playground equipment on his or her own, then that child shouldn’t use the equipment at all. A parent helping the child with inappropriate equipment may set up a situation for an accident if the child tries the equipment solo.
Fall Prevention – ?Falls from playground equipment cause the most playground injuries among children, leading to fractures, internal injuries and concussions. Children will fall while on the playground, no matter how many summer safety tips you follow. Not every fall has to lead to injury though. ??To mitigate the effect of falls, only visit playgrounds with appropriate surfaces under the equipment, including:
• Wood fiber or mulch;
• Pea gravel;
• Poured-in-place rubber;
• Or rubber mats and tiles.
Do not allow children to play on equipment built on asphalt, concrete or packed dirt. These hard surfaces could lead to severe injuries if a child falls.
Equipment Check? – Parks age, just like the rest of us, and with age sometimes comes disrepair and dangers that can lead to injuries. Before turning kids loose on a playground, check out the equipment to spot possible dangers. ??Obvious equipment dangers include protruding bolts, rusted metal, or splintered wood. These can cause cuts and scratches and possibly lead to infection. Also check for any missing parts, exposed footings or faulty hooks, like the kind you find on infant swings. If any equipment appears unsafe, do not let children use it and contact the playground operator.
Come Prepared? – When you visit the playground, come prepared with a few basics that you’ll need time and again; basics that can both help prevent injuries and treat any minor accidents that might occur.
Your playground essentials should include:
• Sunscreen for kids and parents, because adults get sunburns, too;
• A water bottle for everyone in your group;
• Light snacks;
• A basic first-aid kit with bandages and antiseptic ointment;
• And your cell phone in case of a serious emergency.
By following these key summer safety tips, you can continue to have fun all summer long at your favorite playgrounds while also preventing serious injury.
About the author:
David Reeves is Marketing Manager of Playland Inc. in Carrollton, GA. Playland Inc., is a total solutions manufacturer and supplier to many industries, with its roots deep in the park and playground markets including churches, schools, and day care centers. It has developed into the only company in its field to offer direct to all of its customers the ability to purchase outdoor playgrounds, shelters, shade, indoor playgrounds, water slides and site amenities. Connect with SII on LinkedIn or Facebook.
Share And Enjoy: