By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
Playgrounds are a great place for children to play in a defined area with other children. Many playgrounds are safe and built to standards. With good supervision, these playgrounds are great for children. Other playgrounds, however, are not well maintained or built and contain a number of hidden dangers to children. Before a child is allowed to play on a playground, a parent, caregiver, day care provider, or teacher should inspect the equipment to make sure that it is safe and age appropriate for the children. If everything checks out, supervision is key to the safety of children. Children often times lack good safety awareness and judgment. As such, supervision is the best way to keep children safe on playgrounds. You can read other safety tips from a pediatrician who believes that many playground accidents and injuries are preventable at Playground Injuries Are Preventable.
Playground injuries are preventable
Posted By DR. SUSAN SURRY
Posted 22 hours ago
One of the sure signs of spring is children let loose in the playground. After a long winter, children are naturally thrilled to be out in the warm and sunny weather and ready for some fun. That’s especially true for children aged five to nine who are active and imaginative, and learning new skills every day.
At this age, children like to push their physical boundaries and really enjoy jumping, climbing and balancing. They also think that they can do more than they are able to do and often take chances that can result in an injury.
Fall-related injuries are the number one reason for children aged five to nine years to be treated at hospital emergency departments. They are also the second leading cause of brain injuries for children. These injuries involve playground equipment more than any other type of fall.
While the actions of children can be unpredictable, injuries do not have to be. There are some simple ways that parents and caregivers can reduce the risk of injuries in this age group.
Start by making sure that the places children play are safe. Before children start to play, check the playground equipment for any damage, including loose bars, broken swing chains and nails or bolts that protrude. Make sure the hand rails are secure and free from splinters. Deep, soft surfaces such as sand, pea gravel and wood or rubber chips will cushion falls and prevent many injuries. Don’t forget that injuries can also happen on backyard equipment, so do a safety check of your own home playground areas.
Young children can be injured on playgrounds designed for older children. If a child is too small to reach and use equipment alone, it is not designed for that age. Make sure that the equipment is the correct size and meets the physical abilities of your child.
Supervision of children decreases the chance of injury, so watch children closely. Stand next to all children when they are learning a new skill or climbing. Reduce a child’s chance of choking on play equipment by avoiding clothing with drawstrings or scarves and removing bike helmets before playing on the equipment. Do not taking skipping ropes onto playground structures.
Teach children the playground safety rules. Children should know to wait and take their turn, to avoid pushing and to slide down feet first and walk up the steps or ladders, rather than running up the slide. Make sure you are consistent with the rules and that children follow them every time. Praise your children for playing safely and role model by following the safety rules yourself.
Playgrounds can be a great source of exercise, a time to meet other children and be involved in creative play. By playing safely together your family can make this season one of fond, and injury free, memories. For more information on preventing childhood injuries call Your Health Connection Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 721- 7520 (1-877-721-7520) or check www.simcoemuskokahealth.org.
Dr. Susan Surry is an associate medical officer of health and a paediatrician.