Ensure Safe Outdoor Playtime
Whether you’re installing your own playground or visiting someone else’s, help keep children safe as they play outdoors with these tips from Safe Kids Worldwide (safekids.org/playgroundsafety) and Vicky Lansky, author of Practical Parenting Tips.
1. Make sure surfacing material is 12 inches deep and extends 6 feet in all directions around playground equipment. Shredded rubber, mulch, wood chips and sand are all good playground surfaces. Dirt can be very hard.
2. Cover exposed screws and bolts with caps or tape. Use pliers to pinch the ends of S-hooks together so they can’t snag your child’s skin or clothing.
3. Check your backyard equipment regularly to make sure it’s safe and check playground equipment at local parks. Find out if town playground equipment is inspected regularly and report any problems to your local parks and recreation office.
4. Remove children’s helmets, necklaces, purses or scarves before they run onto the playground. Also consider removing hood and neck drawstrings from children’s clothes and outerwear.
5. Place an extension ladder across the driveway a few feet from the end to keep preschoolers from riding trikes into the street. Or paint a red strip across the driveway as a reminder.
6. Supervise your child’s activity on a playground.Be mindful of rough play or activity like pushing, shoving or crowding around playground equipment.
7. Keep children younger than 5 off playground equipment designed for bigger kids.