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Playground Safety

Playgrounds are meant to be a place where children can run, jump, swing, slide and play. Unfortunately, playgrounds can also be a place where accidents happen. Adults should monitor their children’s play whenever they are on a playground, no matter their age.

Playground Safety Tips

It is important that children are only allowed to play on equipment that is age appropriate. Playgrounds should have areas available which accommodate young children up to five years of age, as well as areas for elementary school age children. Caregivers need to make sure that their child is playing in the appropriate area.

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Many accidents are caused on the playground when a young child is allowed to play on equipment that he or she is not physically able to master. Young children should not be allowed to play or hang on monkey bars, or play on climbing gyms, slides and swings which are meant for older children. Older children should not be allowed to swing or climb on equipment that is meant for young children. It may not hold their weight.

When children play on the playground, it is important that they are dressed for play. They should not have on hooded jackets, coats or shirts that could get hung in equipment which could cause injury or strangulation. All ties and loose cords on clothing should be removed prior to letting a child on play equipment.

Children should have on appropriate footwear when playing on the playground. Sandals and flip-flop style shoes can trip a child and/or they could also become lodged in equipment which could cause a fall.

Children should be taught to not be friendly to--or approach--a strange animal or pet they see at the playground.

Playground Equipment

Children should not be allowed to play on playground equipment unless it is reinforced with a shock absorbing “fall” surface. These types of surfaces can include pea gravel, mulch, sand, or mats. Children should never be allowed to swing, slide or climb directly on top of a concrete surface.

Parents should inspect all play equipment to make sure it is in good working order. Look for areas which are worn out, rusty, or a possible “pinch” hazard. Also, check the temperature of slides and metal surfaces during the warm months.

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