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  • Dr. Liz Homan

Playground Safety | Summer Safety Series

Here is another round for the Summer Safety Series! This month I want to talk about Playground Safety!

There are so many components to playground safety, which we will cover a lot of them, but one of the most essential things to keeping our kids safe while they are playing is for us, their parents, to be observant of what they are doing! For us to pay attention and even play along with them!

Also, by being observant, you are able to tell if there is damage to the play equipment. If you notice that there is faulty equipment, please reach out to the organization that maintains the equipment so that it can be addressed and taken care of before another child becomes injured.

SWINGS: swings are so fun, but they are the most common source of childhood injuries from moving equipment on a playground. A few key things to make sure that your child stays safe while enjoying the swings:

· They need to remain seated the whole time. They should not stand or kneel on the swing.

· They should hold on tightly with BOTH hands at all times.

· Wait till the swing completely comes to a stop before trying to get off.

· Maintain a safe distance around other kids who are swinging.

· One butt per swing. Although it is fun to share, swings are designed to hold only one child.

SLIDES: who does not love going down a nice slide? A few things to remember:

· Up the stairs and DOWN the slide. Do not climb up the slide.

· Slide down feet first while sitting up.

· One child should slide at a time.

· Make sure that the bottom of the slide is clear of other kids before sliding down.

· As soon as they are done sliding, they should move away from the end of the slide so other kids can go.

CLIMBING EQUIPTMENT: I have two little girls who just love to climb so when I read that the highest rate of injuries from public playgrounds come from climbing equipment I knew I had to be even more vigilant than I already am. Here are a few safety tips:

· If you cannot get up it on your own, then you do not do it.

· Show them where the climb leads to and where some exit points would be if they do not feel they can go on.

· Make sure they use both hands and feet as they are climbing.

MISALAENOUS TIPS: Here are a few other tips that are important when playing at the playground:

· Make sure your child is dressed properly. They should not have long strings hanging from their clothes. Wearing closed toed shoes typically leads to less tripping. When riding bicycles to the park, make sure to remove helmets before starting to play.

· Not every area of the playground is safe for all ages. Certain areas have lower steps for younger kids while the older areas have more advanced climbing equipment and slides. It is your job as the parent to make sure your child is using age appropriate play equipment.

· When the sun is shining bright, the temperature of metal and some plastic play equipment can become too hot! Before you send your child out to play, check the temperature by placing the back of your hand on the surface. If it is too hot, move to a different area of the playground!

I am sure you knew most of these tips for playground safety, but if this helps one parent feel more comfortable while taking their child to the playground than this was worth it! If you learned something new from reading this, I would love for you to share it with me!

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