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Health Information For Parents
Playgrounds and outdoor play equipment offer kids fresh air, friends, fun, and exercise. But it’s important to make sure that faulty equipment, improper surfaces, and unsafe behavior don’t ruin the fun.
Each year, more than 200,000 kids are treated in hospital ERs for playground-related injuries. Many of these accidents can be prevented with careful supervision.
You can make the playground entertaining and safe for your kids by checking equipment for possible hazards and following some simple safety guidelines.
And teaching kids how to play safely is important: If they know the rules of the playground, they’re less likely to get hurt.
Adults can help prevent injuries by making sure kids properly use playground equipment. If an injury does happen, an adult can help the child and give any needed first aid right away.
Kids should always have adult supervision on the playground. Keep your eyes on young kids (and sometimes older ones) because they can’t always be sure of distance and may not expect dangerous situations. Older kids like to test their limits on the playground, so it’s important for an adult to keep them in check.
Before you visit a playground, check to make sure that play areas are designed to allow an adult to clearly see kids while they’re playing on all the equipment.
Another key part of playground safety: Kids must know how to be safe and act responsibly at the playground.
Kids should know to:
Swings, slides, and climbing equipment have different safety concerns. And some kinds of equipment are not safe for playgrounds, no matter how careful kids are.
Swings are the most common source of childhood injuries from moving equipment on a playground. But a few simple precautions can help keep kids safely swinging:
Using a seesaw requires cooperation between kids. They’re generally not recommended for preschoolers unless the seesaw has a spring-centering device to prevent sudden contact with the ground. Regardless of design, both seesaws and merry-go-rounds should be approached with caution.
Other safety tips to keep in mind:
Slides are safe if kids are careful when using them. Guidelines to keep in mind:
Climbing equipment comes in many shapes and sizes — including rock climbing walls, arches, and vertical and horizontal ladders. It’s usually more challenging for kids than other kinds of playground equipment.
Be sure your kids are aware of a safe way down in case they can’t complete the climb. The highest rate of injuries on public playgrounds are seen with climbing equipment. This is dangerous when not designed or used properly. Adult supervision is especially important for younger kids.
Climbing equipment can be used safely if kids are taught to use both hands and to stay well behind the person in front of them and beware of swinging feet. When they drop from the bars, kids should be able to jump down without hitting the equipment on the way down. Remind kids to have their knees bent and land on both feet.
Here’s how to help protect kids from a dangerous fall or a tumble into a sharp edge in your home.
Toys are a fun and important part of any child’s development. And there’s plenty you can do to make sure all toys are safe.
Bike riding is a great way to get exercise and share time as a family. But there’s an important factor that you need to consider – safety.
It might look like just child’s play, but toddlers are hard at work learning important physical skills as they gain muscle control, balance, and coordination.
Concussions are serious injuries that can be even more serious if kids don’t get the time and rest needed to heal them completely.
Head injuries can be external or internal. Learn more about both kinds, how to prevent them, and what to do if your child is injured.
Participation in sports can teach kids sportsmanship and discipline. But sports also carry the potential for injury. Here’s how to protect your kids.
Use these checklists to make a safety check of your home, including your backyard and pool area. You should answer “yes” to all of these questions.
One of your most important tasks as a parent is finding a qualified babysitter. Here are some essential tips on choosing and instructing a babysitter.
Boo-boos, bug bites, and broken bones – oh my! Here’s your one-stop shop for everything you need to know about how to keep kids safe.
Young kids love to explore their homes, but are unaware of the potential dangers. Learn how to protect them with our handy household safety checklists.
Learn about the different types of head injuries, and find out what to do if your child is seriously injuried.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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