Playgrounds: A place of fun or a den of danger? They can be both, actually. But with proper supervision and a pre-play survey of the area, playgrounds are a great place to hang around.
Before you let children loose in their favorite neighborhood play spaces, survey the area for stray animals, broken glass and hot metal surfaces such as slides and monkey bars. Make sure the area is inaccessible to the street and standing bodies of water.
Monitor children’s play on swing sets, climbing equipment, see-saws and slides, which are the sites of most playground injuries. Falls from equipment account for two-thirds of emergency-room visits for playground injuries.
To ensure your child’s safety on the playground:
Make sure equipment is spaced so that children do not fall from one activity into another, and can move safely between pieces of equipment.
Check that all potential fall zones are covered by impact-absorbent surfaces.
Survey the equipment to ensure that it is in good repair, properly anchored and free of parts that can pinch, crush, splinter, puncture or cut.
Direct children to play in areas suited to their range of skills and development level.
Remove clothing that could entangle and strangle a child (drawstrings on sweatshirts and jackets, long dresses, capes, etc.).