According to the Centers for Disease Control, 200,000 children under the age of 14 are injured from playground accidents every year. Plus, nearly 45% of these playground-related injuries are severe enough to include internal injuries, fractures, amputations, dislocations, and concussions. Luckily, there are many ways you can prevent playground accidents from happening.
Check the surfaces of the playground
According to the CDC, falls are the number one cause of non-fatal injuries for children. Experts recommend having saver surfaces compared to grass and dirt under playground parts and park playground equipment. The Consumer Product Safety Commission strongly advises against placing equipment on asphalt or cement without a safety surface in between. Surfaces like mulch, safety tiles, or poured rubber playground surfaces can make a huge difference for your child's safety.
Check the equipment of the playground
If the playground parts and equipment are not properly maintained, they can become extremely hazardous. The National Program for Playground Safety suggests keeping a routine maintenance checklist for the playground based on the manufacturer's recommendations. And equipment that is rusted, damaged, or has missing pieces needs to be addressed immediately.
Check the temperature of the playground
When it's warm outside, there's no surprise that your child wants to play on the playground. That being said, warm playground parts and equipment can sometimes cause burns on your child's skin. Some surfaces can retain and absorb heat, making them five to 10 degrees hotter than the air. Always check the temperature of the playground parts before letting your children play on them.
Check for choking hazards
Finally, you want to assess the playground for any choking hazards before you let your kids run around. Equipment like safety nets may seem to make the playground safer, but nets with a perimeter opening between 17 and 28 inches could pose danger for kids. The opening should be too small for a child's body to fit through but large enough for their head to fit.
Nearly two-thirds of parents are worried that their children spend too much time on electronic devices. If you're one of those parents, taking your kids to the playground is a great way to get them away from the screens and into some exercise and play. Just make sure that you're doing your best to prevent some common playground injuries so your child can keep playing until their heart's content.