Play Safe on the Playground
June is the National Safety Council’s National Safety Month. So each Friday this month we are going to highlight a way to keep you and your family safe.
By now most of children are on summer break; which means long days of playing, relaxing, and spending quality time together as a family. Many families will spend a lot of time at playgrounds this summer.
While playgrounds are a ton of fun for the whole family (honestly, you can’t tell me that whether your are 5, 25, or 50 swings aren’t fun and you don’t try to compete with the person next to you to see who can swing higher), ever year more than 200,000 children visit hospital emergency rooms because of playground injuries. Many of which can be prevented. Here is a list from the National Safety Council of some tips to help keep your family safe at the playground.
Top 10 Checklist for Playground Safety
1. Surfaces around playground equipment should be filled with at least 12 inches of loose fill, such as wood chips, mulch, sand or pea gravel.
2. Most stationary equipment should have at least a 6 foot use zone in all directions.
3. Any openings that can trap children (in guardrails or between ladder rungs) should be less than 3.5 inches apart or more than 9 inches.
4. Guardrails should surround all elevated platforms and should be at least 29 inches high for preschool-age children and 38 inches high for school-age children.
5. Look for exposed concrete footings, tree roots or rocks that could trip children.
6. Check for sharp edges and dangerous hardware, like open “S” hooks or protruding bolts.
7. Make sure your child plays on age-appropriate equipment.
8. Playgrounds should be maintained regularly. Report any problems.
9. Remove hoods or drawstrings that can get caught on equipment.
10. Supervise children while they play.
What is your favorite summer activity to do with your family?