How Can My Child Avoid Playground Injuries? Playgrounds are wonderful places for all members of the family to run, play, and enjoy each other’s company. For young children, playgrounds offer the opportunity to test their strength, skill, and imagination. While many children visit playgrounds and get home without injury, you should still take steps to avoid playground injuries.
Statistics reveal that each year, emergency rooms in the United States treat approximately 200,000 children for injuries they have incurred on the playground. The Centers for Disease Control report that half of these accidents are quite serious. Fortunately, there are some steps that you can take as a parent to reduce the risk that your children will be injured in a playground accident.
Many playgrounds contain hazards that can lead to child injuries. Those hazards are often readily apparent, but not always so scope out a new playground before your child plays there. To avoid playground injuries, make sure the areas surrounding the playground are covered in a soft material like sand or wood chips to soften the impact in a case child takes a tumble. Any elevated areas that are more than 30 inches off the ground should have rails or barriers that protect children from falling over the side. And of course, if any playground equipment appears broken, do not allow your child to use it.
The American Academy of Pediatrics cautions that children should neither play with nor wear anything that could become entangled in playground equipment and lead to strangulation. Parents should never tie or fasten their children to playground equipment. Avoid sending your children to the playground in excessively loose clothing or clothes with drawstrings that can easily snag on the equipment.
Few public playgrounds offer adequate sun protection. Make sure that your children limit the amount of sun to which they are exposed. Send your children out to play with ample sunscreen on their skin and hats with brims to protect their faces from sun exposure. Limit playtime at hours of peak sun exposure and familiarize yourself with the signs of heat illnesses. Teach children that if playground equipment is hot to the touch, then it is too hot for their skin. Always keep your children hydrated when they are playing outdoors.
Many children enjoy slides, which offer an element of excitement and risk in a safe environment. To stay safe on a slide, children should follow a few basic rules. Avoid metal or plastic slides on very hot days, as their surfaces can burn the skin. The top areas of slides should have barriers in order to keep children safe from falls.
Make sure that the base of a slide is a padded area, which can soften the blow in case children fall. Children should avoid going down slides with other children, which can lead to injury. Children should also only go down slides, and never attempt to walk or climb up slides from the bottom.
Swings provide great benefits to children. They help build muscle, improve sensory skills, and calm the nerves. Unfortunately, accidents that occur on swings can lead to serious injuries. Teach children to keep a healthy distance from the swings when walking past them. Try to keep your children from jumping off of swings, as well.
Not all children develop physical skills and muscle strength at the same rate. For this reason, some children are more ready to use certain types of playground equipment than others, even when they are the same age or size.
Parents should encourage children to use age-appropriate equipment and to provide any necessary help in case the children want to try something new. For example, if a child wants to try the monkey bars for the first time, you should support that decision if it is developmentally appropriate, and offer to assist in order to prevent falls.
If your child is injured while on the playground, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced accident attorney who can help you fight for the compensation that your family deserves.
Contact Kruger & Hodges today to schedule a free initial consultation.