This week marks National Playground Safety Week for April 2011 promoted by the National Safety Council. Each year April 25th to April 29th is dedicated to protecting our children by keeping them safe while they are playing at the local playground. Our children are the future and keeping a vigilant eye over their safety helps make all of our futures a safer and happier place to live. Though most of us probably send our children off to the playground without giving much concern to safety, accidents are no as uncommon as you may have realized. We all know children are prone to have an accident as they have not yet acquired full grasp over there motor skills. Every year hundreds of thousands of kids are injured while playing at the playground and most of these types of safety accidents are related to an injury caused by something as commonplace as falling out of the swing.
How To Keep Our Kids Safe At The Playground?
Many times as I earlier suggested we just don’t pay enough attention to potential accidents before they arise with such innocuous activities such as playing at the playground. Knowing the risks and dangers that your children may be faced with while playing with their friends at the playground are important to the prevention of accidents that may harm your children.
Child Safety, Playground Safety Concerns
Let’s start at the top with our local playgrounds and work our way down to safe! First off, have you taken a close look at the playground that you send your child to?
- Have you investigated the swings, monkey bars, slides, etc, that your kids plan to play on? How about the surrounding area around the playground?
- Is the playground completely fenced in?
- How much distance is there between the playground and the street?
- Are there fire hydrants close to the area where your kids are playing?
- What is the neighborhood around the playground like, is it a good neighborhood or a bad neighborhood?
- What are the common ages of the children who already frequent that playground in comparison with your childrens’ ages?
Remember that playgrounds are a community area where all local children and parents will visit at some point in their lives. This means that other people are using the same area as your child and as such you may wish to make these kinds of evaluations and inspections at some regular interval to ensure your kids are safe while playing.
Playground Safety Tips For Your Kids
So remember, ask yourself some of these questions or dream up completely new ones, but check for safety concerns at your playground! When investigating the playground equipment that your kids will use, try to ask yourself some basic questions…
- Were my child to fall off something at the playground, where would he/she land?
- Examine the playground Equipment itself!
- Sharp Objects & Dangerous Materials!
- Other Kids & The Area of the Playground.
Basically what you are looking for here is to make sure that should your child fall off the monkey bars, jungle gym, swing set, or whichever, that there is enough room between each set of playground equipment. There should be sand covering the base of the playground so that when kids do fall, they don’t land on something like concrete or wood. This is something else to consider when checking out the surrounding area, what are the materials used in the construction of this playground and what are the chances that should my child fall, that the result would be them hitting their head on something that can crack it open!
Take a closer look at these things that your child will have their little hands all over while at play! What is the maintenance of this equipment like? Is this playground properly up kept by the city? How about the metal, has it begun to rust? Is there any chance that your child could get cut while playing? Is the equipment sturdy, or does it look like if you jumped on to play it might buckle under the pressure? Ensuring that each item your child uses is in perfect working order before allowing your child to use it will certainly help to keep them safe!
The same way that we investigated each piece of equipment at the playground, and the surfaces that our children will land on if they fall, we should also investigate any suspicious materials. Are there sharp objects laying nearby that may hurt our children? Are there some other kinds of materials that might be unusual and dangers or hazardous to our kids?
Many times we can forget that when playing at the playground our children are interacting with other kids in the neighborhood as well as the world around them. Assuming your children are younger, this become more of a concern that you may want to watch out for when sending your kids to play. Sometimes our kids can be taken advantage of by older children at the playground who know better, but instigate our children into unsafe activities! Consider who will be playing with your kids as another way to keep them safe at the playground!
National Playground Safety Week Final Thoughts
Thanks for reading more about National Playground Safety Week and though what we covered here is not the definitive list of the things you need to do to prepare your child for safety at the playground, it is a wonderful place to start! Hopefully you have gotten a better idea of the safety risks that are presented each day across America as our child bounce happily off to play.
Remember it is just as important to promote safety awareness as it is to follow safety best practices and advice yourself. Should you have the opportunity this week, try to tell other parents or anyone with children about some of the things that they might want to watch out for when sending their kids to the playground and how they can start to think safely!