Jul 5, 2018, 10:58:11 AM CDT Jul 10, 2024, 10:08:44 AM CDT

5 playground safety tips for parents

Avoid injury with this list of playground safety tips for kids

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Playgrounds are designed for kids, but that doesn't mean they are injury-proof. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 200,000 children go to the emergency department for playground-related injuries each year. These injuries can include fractures as well as traumatic brain injuries such as concussions.

"The most important safety precaution parents can take is always supervising their child at a playground," says Marisa Abbe, Ph.D., CPSTI, Director of Injury Prevention and Outreach at Children's Health℠. "While we cannot prevent every injury, an attentive parent can help keep their child safer."

Follow these five playground safety rules for your child

  1. Choose the right playground equipment for your child's age and skills.
  2. If possible, choose playgrounds with safe surfaces made from wood chips or shredded rubber to lessen the risk of injury.
  3. Dress your child properly for the playground – no necklaces, scarves, purses or clothing that could get caught around their neck or pose a hazard.
  4. Use play equipment properly. Never climb up slides (use the ladder or stairs instead), and never jump from the swings or the top of the slide.
  5. Monkey bars can be risky – causing half of all serious playground falls. Supervise your child closely while they play and assist them if they are still learning.

It's also a good idea to teach your child to touch equipment before climbing or playing on it, as the strong Texas sun can quickly make slides and other surfaces very hot. Always apply sunscreen and bring water to the playground to make sure your child stays hydrated.

As far as the popular advice that cautions parents against holding their child while riding down the slide? Dr. Abbe advises it's a good one to follow. "If your child isn't big enough to ride down the slide themselves, don’t hold them on it. Rather, find more age-appropriate options for fun."

Learn more

The Children's Health℠ Injury Prevention team is committed to keeping your family safe. See more summer safety articles.

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