Prevent Playground Injuries
Playgrounds and young children are synonymous with summer fun. Staying safe should be your number one priority. The National Program for Playground Safety offers this safety checklist for parents (visit them online at www.uni.edu/playground or call (800) 554-PLAY):
- Watch out for strings and ropes. String on children's clothing and ropes used for play can cause accidental strangulation if caught on equipment.
- Children should play on age-appropriate equipment. Children ages two to five and kids ages five to 12 are developmentally different and need separate areas and different equipment to keep the playground safe.
- Nearly 70 percent of all playground injuries are due to falls. Acceptable surfaces include mulch/fiber, sand, and synthetic materials such as poured-in-place rubber mats or tiles. Playground surfaces should not be concrete, asphalt, blacktop, packed dirt, or rocks.
- Check to make sure the equipment is anchored safely in the ground, all equipment pieces are in good working order, S-hooks are entirely closed, bolts are not protruding, there are no exposed footings, etc.
- Adult supervision is needed to watch for potential hazards, observe, intercede, and facilitate play when necessary.