Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Playin' It Safe at the Playground

Parents of toddlers know that playgrounds can be a great place for their little ones to enjoy much-needed physical activity, but many may be unaware of common playground hazards and safety concerns. Whether your child is a playground newcomer or a frequent visitor, you can help your toddler play it safe by learning safety guidelines and teaching them to your child.

Be Safe

Before you give your toddler access to a playground, assess the area and equipment to be sure it follows proper safety guidelines.

  • The surface under all playground equipment should be soft and consist of materials such as wood chips, mulch or sand. Falling to the surface is the most common contributing factor in playground injuries.
  • Evaluate the design of the playground—proper playgrounds should be built for two separate age groups: children under 5 years old and children ages 5 through 12.

  • Inspect the playground equipment to ensure it is well maintained. Check that it is kept clean with no broken or rusted areas.

Any hazards you find should be reported immediately to the school or municipality associated with the playground.

Have fun with your kids. With your guidance, your toddler will quickly become a playground pro.