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5 important playground safety tips

smiling boy and girl play together on a playground rope bridge

As children return to school every autumn, many of them will inevitably head back to the playground for the first time following a brief absence. Though these structures are meant to offer children a carefree break in the educational routine, there are certain concerns with most playgrounds. Between 2001 and 2008, there were 218,851 injuries as a result of playgrounds,15 percent of which were classified as severe, according to the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS). As such, it's important that parents and children work together to develop proper playground etiquette as to reduce the possibility and severity of injury. Here are just a few vital safety tips to teach your children as the school year swings onward:

"There were 218,851 injuries as a result of playgrounds between 2001 and 2008."

Know what to expect
The first step in creating safer playgrounds iS to know what kind of injuries to expect. That way, parents are prepared for possible outcomes and better-suited in case medical assistance is required. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the most common playground injury is fractures, which account for 36 percent of all cases. The remainder of the top five includes: contusions and abrasions (20 percent), lacerations (17 percent), sorted sprains and strains (12 percent), and damage to internal organs (5 percent).

Manners make the difference
According to the NPPS, there were a number of reasons for playground injuries, including those related to faulty equipment and nearby hazards. However, collisions between children were the result of 7 percent of all injury cases.Though some of these are unavoidable, that statistic does raise some important questions about manners between children on the playground. Parents and children alike should demonstrate courtesy whenever they're at the playground. Teach your children to say things like "please" and "thank you," take turns on various pieces of equipment and pay attention to his or her surroundings. Steps like this can go a long way in fostering a more open and inviting environment for all children.

Weather plays an important role
There are a few different instances when your child should avoid the playground entirely. Though these times happen infrequently, the real challenge is to ensure they know these limitations are for creating a safe environment. Playgrounds can be especially dangerous when:

  • It's hot out: The heat makes contact with the metal almost unbearable, which can lead to further injuries.
  • It's raining: Like heat, moisture has a way of leading to additional instances of injury.
  • It's cold out: The child's skin can also stick to the metal, causing various forms of damage.
Playgrounds can be fun if property safety measure are enforced. Improper safety precautions can make playgrounds dangerous. 

Understand your child's limitations
Though children are naturally curious, many don't understand their physical limitations. That might explain why, as the NPPS noted, 23 percent of all playground injuries involved climbing equipment. At least some of this may have to do with your child's inability to support his or her weight when climbing up the geodome or across the monkey bars. It's important you express to your children that they must be cautious when climbing, and perhaps there should be only a few pieces of equipment they have access to. As an extension of this, you may want to limit the child's use on the playground until a certain age. According to the NPPS, 54 percent of all injuries occurred in children in the 0-to-4 age group.

Survey the equipment
Children can only handle so much personal responsibility, and it's important that parents play a role in developing truly safe playgrounds. Before the start of each school year and periodically throughout the year, you may want to inspect the actual playground. google translate book a room Some things to look out for are:

  • Broken equipment.
  • Rusted pieces of metal.
  • The security of the mulch or synthetic rubber under the equipment.
  • Nearby trash or pieces of glass that can prove harmful.

You also need to speak with your child's teacher, expressing your specific concerns about the playground and to ensure there is a schedule of teachers assigned to watch duty. It may also be a good idea to share any concerns regarding your child, like if he or she tends to stick to one activity or has a history of specific injuries.

Unfortunately, there is no foolproof way to prevent playground accidents, and your child might very well experience an injury at some point during school. If that does happen, you can take your child to a CareWell Urgent Care location. With locations across the Eastern Seaboard, CareWell physicians have the expertise to help your child heal and get back to the business of being young.

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