Injuries sustained on playgrounds cause over 200,000 children every year in the United States to visit the emergency room, with roughly half of those injuries being deemed severe.
You could now be asking whether playgrounds are secure. The truth is that they most certainly can be. However, for youngsters to know how to use playground equipment properly, they need to have a basic awareness of playground safety and follow the playground rules for preschoolers.
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Teaching Children Playground Safety
It is best to start educating your child about playground safety as soon as possible. Go over a playground safety checklist with your child before you head to the playground. Remind them to take turns, keep an eye out for other kids, and use the equipment properly.
If you are able to, leading by example while teaching children what to do on the playground is another effective strategy. Playing with your child should involve sliding down slides foot first, holding onto play structure railings, and steadily moving up and down see-saw handles.
Checklist for Playground Safety
The following playground safety checklist is a great place to start when discussing safe play with children.
Follow the guidelines for playground equipment
Make sure your child is using equipment that is suitable for his or her age first. They should usually wait till they are a little bigger before using equipment like swings or steps if they can’t easily climb them.
Describe the significance of correctly using equipment as well. For example, if a kid is hanging upside-down on the monkey bars and falls, they could get significant injuries. Although experimenting might be enjoyable, it’s preferable to choose the safe route.
Observe Before Using
Teach your child to quickly inspect a piece of playground equipment before using it. Before going in, look to see whether there are any other kids in the slides or in the tunnels. This can assist in preventing collisions, which could harm your child and other people.
Pay Attention to Your Environment
Children might easily forget to pay attention to their surroundings as they rush around the playground in their excitement. Teach your child playground safety rules to always keep their head up and their eyes alert when exploring the park. A basic idea to keep in mind is to avoid standing directly in front of slides and swings by moving a few feet away. When moving about, be aware of children and adults nearby.
Beware of Wet Equipment
After a rainstorm has passed and the sun is shining, it may be tempting to take the kids to the park. However, even if your youngster takes their time crossing wet playground equipment, it may still be dangerous. If you have to go to the playground, carry plenty of towels to wipe down the area, and make sure your child understands that they should only play on areas that have dried.
Put On Appropriate Clothes
Kids shouldn’t wear items that could snag on playground equipment or get them hurt. An extra layer of protection in case of falls or bumps is best provided by a pair of sweatpants for a trip to the park.
Look for any straps, buttons, or strings that could snag while using slides, swings, or other pieces of equipment. Ask your child to remove necklaces, earrings, and other jewelry before playing.
Look out for any straps, buttons, or strings that can snag on slides, swings, or other equipment. Before engaging in play, instruct your kid to take off any jewellery they may be wearing, including necklaces, earrings, and other accessories.
Preschool Playground Rules Safe Equipment Recommendations
There are various safety issues with swings, slides, and climbing apparatus. No matter how cautious children are, many pieces of equipment are not appropriate for playgrounds.
Safety in Swing
Children’s injuries on playgrounds from moving equipment are most frequently caused by swings. A few straightforward preschool playground rules safety measures, however, can keep kids swinging safely:
- Children should never stand or kneel in a swing; instead, they should always sit in them.
- Swings should be made of soft materials, not hard ones, like wood or metal. Once they have done swinging, they should halt the swing entirely before getting off, holding on tightly with both hands the entire time.
- Children should keep a safe distance from other children using swings, and they should take care to avoid running or walking in front of or behind moving swings. Never take more than one child on a ride to a swing. Only one person may be held securely in a swing.
Kids must work together to use a seesaw. Preschoolers shouldn’t use them typically unless the seesaw has a spring-centered device to prevent abrupt contact with the ground. Regardless of design, caution should be used when using merry-go-rounds and seesaws.
Other safety tips to remember:
- Seesaw chairs have one child per seat, just as swings. Instead of adding another child to his or her side of the seesaw, a child who is too light to seesaw with a partner should look for a different partner.
- Children should never sit with their backs to one another.
- Instruct children to hold on firmly with both hands while using a seesaw, to keep their feet to the sides and out from under the seesaw, and to avoid touching the ground or pushing off with their hands. Children should keep their distance when using a seesaw. They must never attempt to climb onto a moving seesaw, stand on it while it is in motion, or stand on an elevated seesaw.
If children use them carefully, slides are safe. Follow these recommendations:
- When a child climbs the ladder to the top of the slide, they should do so cautiously and hold onto the handrail.
- Children should never slide down on their stomachs, backs, or heads; they should never climb up the slide to reach the top; and they should always slide down feet first and sitting up, never head first or on their backs or stomachs.
- Before going down the slide, kids should always make sure the bottom is clear. In order to make room for other children to slide down, they should get off the slide when they reach the bottom and move away from it.
Safety Concerns with Climbing Equipment
Rock climbing walls, arches, and vertical and horizontal ladders are just a few examples of the various sizes and shapes of climbing equipment. Compared to other playground equipment, it is typically more difficult for kids.
Make sure your kids are aware of a secure way down in case they are unable to complete the climb. On public playgrounds, climbing apparatus is where injuries occur at the highest rate. When not created or used properly, this is hazardous. For younger children, adult supervision is particularly crucial.
Children can use climbing equipment safely if they are taught to use both hands, to keep a distance behind the person in front of them, and to be cautious of swinging feet. Children should be able to jump down from the bars when they drop from them without slamming into the equipment. Kids should be reminded to land on both feet with their knees bent.
Playground Safety Rules to Protect Everyone
The above playground safety rules checklist lays out basic, straightforward guidelines to keep your child and other park visitors safe. Adults should keep an eye on their kids just as much as children.
Teach children to always remain in your line of sight and to avoid speaking to strangers unless you are present. The playground can be an enjoyable and safe place to be if both you and your child do your roles.