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Playground Safety Tips: Keeping the Kids Safe

Apr 22nd, 2024

As the weather warms up, our children spend more time on the playground. Alarmingly, playground injuries are far from rare, with more than 200,000 incidents leading to emergency room visits each year. Appropriately, National Playground Safety Week takes place April 22-26, 2024. It presents an opportune time to spotlight the critical importance of playground safety and give parents some essential tips for keeping their children safe.


Supervise Actively

One of the most effective ways to prevent accidents is to keep a vigilant eye on children as they play. Active supervision means being in a position where you can see, hear, and reach your child quickly if necessary. It’s not enough to just be present; distractions like smartphones should be minimal. A watchful parent or guardian can spot potentially unsafe behavior before an accident occurs.


Check for Safe Surfaces

Before letting your child play, take a moment to inspect the playground’s surface. Soft, impact-absorbing materials like wood chips, sand, mulch, or rubber mats significantly reduce the risk of injury from falls. Concrete, asphalt, or hard-packed dirt surfaces are unforgiving and can exacerbate injuries. Ensure that these safe surfaces extend well beyond the equipment area, as children often run around and could fall outside the immediate play structure.


Inspect Equipment for Hazards

Wear-and-tear on playground equipment can present unexpected hazards. Check for sharp edges, protruding bolt ends, or broken equipment. Look out for rust, which can weaken metal structures, and ensure that swings, slides, and other moving parts operate smoothly without unexpected snags. Reporting any hazards to the local authorities or playground operators is crucial in preventing harm to all children who use the space.


Teach Safe Play Habits

Instruct your children about the importance of using the equipment as intended. Discourage roughhousing or pushing, which can lead to falls or collisions. Encourage the kids to use slides one at a time and wait their turn for swings or climbing structures. Understanding and respecting these guidelines helps foster a safer environment for everyone.


Dress Your Child Appropriately

Ensure your child is dressed safely for playground adventures. Clothes without drawstrings, loose belts, or dangling cords can prevent unintended snagging on equipment, which could lead to falls or strangulation hazards. Closed-toe shoes with good traction can also minimize slips and falls.


Despite our best efforts to keep kids safe, accidents can and do occur. Sometimes, these happen due to negligence, such as improper maintenance of public playground facilities or a parent failing to curtail an unruly child. If your child suffers an injury under such circumstances, our attorneys can help you receive any compensation to which you may be entitled to cover their injuries. Call our offices to schedule a case evaluation.