Now that the sun has come out, many families are heading to their local park or playground for some fresh air and fun. While playgrounds are great places for children to explore and grow, they can also pose serious safety hazards. Below are some tips on how to protect your children and keep them safe while at the playground.
Check the surface of the playground
Playground surfaces should not be hard or rocky and should be covered with sand, rubber, or soft wood chips to protect in case of falls. Playgrounds that use asphalt, concrete, or even packed soil provide little protection and can lead to injuries.
Examine the play equipment
Playground equipment should not be rusted or cracked.
Swings should be made of soft material such as rubber or plastic, not wood or metal, and ropes should be secured at both ends to prevent strangulation hazards.
Slides should have sides, typically at least four inches high, so children do not fall over. Children are safest using slides they can climb and maneuver on themselves. Never slide with a child on your lap – their feet can get caught and lead to broken bones.
Check the temperature of metals and plastics
Hot metals can severely injure children. If the equipment is too hot to touch, keep children off of the equipment. Contact burns can occur within seconds.
Dress your child appropriately for the playground
Avoid jackets or hoodies with drawstrings as they can get caught and pose a strangulation hazard. Simply remove the drawstring and it’s good to go. Bicycle helmet straps can cause strangulations, so children should remove them before playing.
Report unsafe playground equipment at SaferProducts.gov and go to CPSC.gov/Recalls to check for recalls. For more safety information, sign up for KID’s email alerts and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @KidsInDanger. Enjoy the warm weather!