With that in mind, read through these five quick playground safety tips to help you keep your child safe on the playground.
1. Ensure that any playground equipment is safe and age-appropriate. Check to be sure that raised equipment has proper railings and that the ground is adequately cushioned. Request that a maintenance check be done during the back-to-school season. Yearly maintenance is crucial to keeping playgrounds safe for use, especially after summer weather and months of disuse may have warped, worn down, or otherwise damaged equipment.
2. Teach your child basic playground safety and etiquette. Remind them to never push or shove their classmates and to never roughhouse on playground equipment. Try to instill a mindset of “safety first” into your child, and discourage them from attempting any tricks or stunts outside of the intended purpose for the playground equipment, such as seeing how far they can jump off the swing or hanging upside down from the monkey bars.
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3. Make sure that your children and their classmates are actively supervised at all times while on the playground. If you are concerned that active supervision is not occurring, don’t be afraid to bring your concerns to the attention of the administration, or better yet, offer to volunteer for playground monitor duty.
4. Dress your child appropriately for playground play. Hoodies, jewelry, and any items of clothing with loops or dangling parts should he avoided, as they can catch on equipment and pose a strangulation hazard. Similarly, make sure that you child has proper footwear, such as sneakers or other cushioned, closed-toe shoes, in order to keep their feet and ankles safe.
5. Teach your child how to use playground equipment properly, whether it’s the slide, swings, jungle gym, or monkey bars. If you live in a warm climate, it’s also a good idea to teach them how to evaluate whether the equipment is too hot to play on or not. Metal slides and bars can easily and quickly cause contact burns.
Look for part seven of our Back-to-School Safety series in the upcoming weeks for more helpful tips to keep you and your children safe during the back-to-school season and throughout the school year.