It’s that time of year again, the weather is warming up and kids
are itching to be outdoors. “Going to the park is a great way for
families to enjoy a spring day and perfect for children to get plenty
of exercise,” said Kayla Hefner,
Health First Center Health Promotion Specialist. “With all the fun activities parks
and playgrounds can provide, we must make sure we’re keeping our
children safe from the hidden dangers.” According to Safe Kids Worldwide,
falls are the most common type of playground injury, accounting for more
than 75% of all playground-related injuries.
Here are four ways to help play it safe on the playground this spring:
“One of the most important things we can do as parents and caregivers
is to make sure we are actively supervising our kids using playground
equipment,” said Kayla. “This should be fairly easy as they
will probably be calling for you to watch them swing, jump and climb.”
Safe Kids Worldwide notes that
lack of supervision is associated with about 45% of playground-related injuries.
- Verify your children are using age-appropriate equipment. Little kids play
differently than big kids so it is important to make sure they are in
separate play areas, with equipment designed for their abilities.
Teach children that pushing, shoving
or crowding while on playground equipment can be dangerous.
- Double check that your child is dressed appropriately for the playground.
“We remember sunscreen and hats but it’s imperative to remember
to remove necklaces, purses, scarves, or clothing with drawstrings that
can get caught in equipment and pose a strangulation hazard,” says
Kayla. “Even helmets can pose a risk, so leave those for the bikes
Lastly, it’s important to ensure there is safe surfacing beneath
and surrounding playground equipment. Proper playground surfaces are one
of the most important factors in reducing the severity of an injury from
a fall. Avoid playgrounds with non-impact absorbing surfaces, such as
asphalt, concrete, grass, dirt or gravel. It’s recommended for surface
materials to include: sand, pea gravel, wood ships, mulch and shredded
rubber. Check playground equipment in the summertime, surfaces can become
uncomfortable to dangerously hot. This is especially true for shiny metal
slides, handrails, and steps. Contact burns can happen within seconds,
so make sure you are using good judgment. If it feels hot to the touch
it is not safe to play on.
Play is a large part of kids’ physical, social, intellectual and
emotional development. With active supervision and some basic safety tips,
every day at the playground can be a walk in the park.
In the event of a non-life threatening accident,
Catawba Valley Urgent Care – Piedmont is open seven days a week with extended office hours from 9am –
7pm, Monday through Friday and 9am – 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.
All forms of insurance, including Medicaid and Medicare are accepted.