With school getting closer and closer to being out for the year, parents must turn their minds to worries that crop up during the summer months. More time on their hands means children will be spending more time on playground equipment. Although this activity is certainly fun for kids, there are hazards that must be understood.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission explains that fractures are some of the most typical injuries that result when a child is injured on playground equipment. Abrasions and contusions are also relatively common. Some things that tend to lead to the biggest injuries are slides, swings, ladder, monkey bars, and other climbing surfaces.
Thankfully, a report out of Saskatchewan explains some of the steps that a parent can take to mitigate the risk. The information hails from the National Program for Playground Safety, who just last week commemorated National Playground Safety Week.
Many of the dangers can be curtailed by simply having a responsible adult on hand to watch kids when they’re playing. If you know your kids plan on going to a local playground, tag along. You don’t really have to worry about supervision so much at school, as a teacher or a handful of teachers or supervisors should be on hand at all times. But when summer rolls around, make it a habit to accompany your children to the playground.
You should dress your kids in clothing that won’t increase the injury risk. If your children have clothes with loose strings or anything else that could get caught on a piece of equipment, have them change before they leave the house.
Not all playgrounds have been updated to reflect the latest safety standards around the state and the country. For one thing, you should be put on guard if the equipment hasn’t been adequately cushioned. The simple installation of rubber mats, sand, or mulch can go a long way toward preventing impact injuries. Have your children play in parks that have this material, and if a nearby structure requires it, consider petitioning a local park or government representative to see to the installation of the safety equipment.
Hopefully, proper maintenance is being carried out at regular intervals to cut down on the danger posed by typical threats. Bolts should be steadfastly screwed in and not sticking out where a child could scrape along them. Steps should provide adequate traction to kids and be free of the type of damage that could pose a sudden tripping hazard. And swings which have S-hooks should have those hooks closed off so a child won’t be hurt.
Finally, take note of any wobbly structures, and make sure your kids are using a piece of equipment the way they’re supposed to. Things that aren’t supposed to be climbed shouldn’t be climbed, and kids should also stay away from small enclosures that could create an entrapment threat.