Let’s face it, at one time or another, during your parenting journey, your child might come home hurt after playing. Children get playground-related injuries, which include falls; entanglement in ropes, leashes or clothing; and impact from equipment tip-over or structural failure. Before you ban your little ones from the playground altogether, remember accidents do happen. But there’s a lot you can do to prevent them.
Wear the right clothes
Go for closed-toe shoes and avoid laces that could loosen and get trapped in equipment. Loose clothing can also catch on equipment and cause falls or strangulation risks.
Keep it age-appropriate
The safest playground for your child is one that’s geared toward their age group. Always check out the age recommendations for the play equipment you let your little one explore. For smaller children, choose playgrounds that have a separate play area for younger children, and remember that playgrounds with soft floors are better at absorbing the shock of a fall.
Check for hazards
Check that the path to and from the play equipment is clear of hazards. Elevated surfaces such as platforms and ramps should have guardrails to prevent falls. Check for broken equipment and chipping or peeling paint, and advise your children to steer clear of anything potentially harmful.
Keep your eyes open
Your kids might be happy to be left to their own devices on the playground, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to supervise them. Children can get hurt anywhere, but if you see your child doing something that might be risky, you need to be able to stop it immediately.
Watch the weather
A warm day may seem to present the perfect opportunity to visit the playground, but the combination of heat and metal equipment can end in tears. Touch the equipment before allowing your child to go on. Sometimes, the sun can increase the temperature so much so that it causes children’s skin to burn.
To be safe, avoid bare metal slides and steps completely and go for playgrounds with plenty of shaded or covered areas. If you’re heading to the playground after rain, watch out for puddles and stagnant water.
Know your child’s limits
You can encourage your child to be adventurous without putting them at risk. The key is to know their limits. Make sure they’re using the equipment how it was intended to be used, and consider it a good general rule that if they’re jumping off a high play structure, you should probably stop them.