Play It Safe: How to Prevent Playground Injuries

Playgrounds provide our children with an opportunity to play, get exercise, and enjoy the outdoors. When playground equipment is faulty, it can limit or even ruin the fun.

According to the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS), a child is seen in a U.S. emergency room for a playground-related injury every 2.5 minutes. In a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), emergency departments see more than 20,000 children aged 14 and younger for traumatic brain injuries caused by playgrounds each year.

While playgrounds should be maintained by their organization operators, it is important to keep an eye out for any faulty equipment, surfaces, or any other factor that may make the area unsafe. April 22nd marks the beginning of National Playground Safety Week, and in its honor, it is important to educate the online community on playground safety for the health and well-being of all children. To help combat injuries on playgrounds and provide the utmost prevention from playground accidents, consider these six tips:

Prep Your Bag

Prior to heading to the playground, ensure you have a first aid kit, ample water, and sunscreen. Children may become dehydrated while playing, so ensure they have plenty to drink. Sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection should be applied liberally 30 minutes before sun exposure, and should be reapplied every two hours to ensure the utmost protect against burns and serious skin damage.

Check Out the Playground

Before letting your children roam the playground freely, look for hazards. Some safety hazards may be more obvious, like rusted or broken equipment, but others may be more difficult like ensuring there is enough cushioned, impact-absorbing material. Make sure the playground surface is mulch, sand, rubber matting, or pea gravel.

Dress to Impress

There is a proper way to dress for the playground! Remove all jewelry, purses, scarves, or clothing with drawstring cords that could get caught on equipment and pose a hazard for strangulation.

If the weather is warm, ensure clothing is lightweight to prevent overheating and protect delicate skin from hot playground surfaces. If the weather is cool, ensure children are wearing form fitting warm apparel. When on the playground, children should wear shoes at all times.

Inform Playground Players

Be sure to give your children guidelines to abide by when playing on the playground. Inform children of the importance of taking turns, sliding feet first, and never running in front of swings. Teach them that any kind of roughhousing, such as pushing and shoving, will not be allowed.

Supervise Kids

This may be obvious, but watch your kids at all times! Active supervision can prevent an accident before it happens. Ensure kids are playing on the correct playground for their age group; big kids play differently than little kids. Also ensure children are using equipment properly. The top pieces of equipment associated with injuries include: climbers, swings, slides, and overhead ladders.

If You See Something Say Something

“Children are still growing and learning and prone to minor accidents and injuries,” note the child injury lawyers of the Fang Law Firm, but add, “if there is a failure to prevent a foreseeable risk to children, or if the staff had knowledge of a risk and did nothing to correct it, they may be responsible for resulting injuries.”

If you see any hazards in a playground, report them immediately to the organization responsible for the site. Often times this will be the school, park authority, or city council. Reporting a hazard is not only the smart thing to do, but the right thing for the community.

Keeping Playgrounds and Kids Safe Beyond April

Playgrounds give us many things, like a chance to play with others and use imagination, but an injury or accident shouldn’t be one of them. This National Playground Safety Week, take the time to learn how you can prevent an accident on the playground. Beyond April 26th, you can help keep your kids safe year round by employing these six tips.

 

42 comments

Jan S
Jan S3 days ago

TYFS

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Anna R
Anna R6 days ago

thank you for posting

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Kevin B
Peter B13 days ago

thanks for sharing

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Daniel N
Daniel N15 days ago

thanks for posting

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Mike R
Mike R15 days ago

Thanks

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Olivia H
Olivia H16 days ago

Thanks for sharing

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danii p
danii p21 days ago

tyfs

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danii p
danii p21 days ago

tyfs

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danii p
danii p21 days ago

tyfs

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Roslyn M
Roslyn McBride22 days ago

As a child I fell off a jungle jim & landed on the end of my spine, which did some damage. Children have to be able to play, & accidents do happen, they can't be protected all the time, or they don't have a natural childhood.

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