Monitoring children in the playground is often very difficult. As a parent, you know there are some fearless kids who would go to any extent to show their bravery. No matter how well you supervise, accidents may happen for several reasons. Although not impossible, it can be very tricky to in still healthy playing habits. Remember, most injuries that occur during children’s play time are preventable. Moreover, such injuries may not be extremely hazardous. Nonetheless, as parents, you have to take certain steps to avoid accidents and aim at inculcating healthy and safe habits to ensure playground safety for kids.
#1: Playground Inspection
The first thing before taking your kid to the park/playground is to inspect the area. Based on your playground inspection, you can prepare a playground safety checklist. Consider the following points:
- Check the ground for any sharp/pointed objects, or broken glass and trashcans.
- Ensure that the playground has adequate space for your supervision.
- Check the playground equipment – swings, slides, merry-go-round, fireman’s pole, climbing equipment, ropes, hoops etc. Only if thisequipmentis in good condition can your child play there?
- Make sure there is proper shading as a part of your summer safety checklist.
#2: Choose a Confined Playground for Kids
For toddlers, it is very important to give them a confined area where they can enjoy their carefree games.
- Older children are generally busy playing football or basketball, which can hurt/harm younger ones.
- It is best to avoid older children’s play area and give take them to a park or playground where there is no risk of body contactgames.
- As a part of kids’playground safety rule, teach your toddler how to avoid getting into older children’s games – define the size of the ball your kid should use.
We love this infographic from TheParentSpot.
#3: Explain the Word “Careful”
There is a subtle difference between the world “careful” and “fear.” Toddlers might misinterpret the meaning of careful for fear, and avoid hitting the playground. However, that is not what you parents want.
- As a part of healthy playing habits, teach your child to hold the rope of the swing tightly so that his hands do not come off.
- When he is climbing the stairs to enjoy the slide, make sure he is carefully observing his footsteps.
- Teach kids how not to interfere with others’ activities, though it is the toughest thing to do!
#4: Introduce Kids Only to Age-Appropriate Equipment
Playgrounds are not specific to age groups. So, when you toddler is moving around, you should always ensure that he is close to the equipment appropriate for his age. For toddlers and preschoolers, the playground should have:
- Smaller crawl spaces and steps
- Lower platforms with shorter ramps or ladders and proper grip
- No chain climbers or ropes
- Shorter slides, below 4 ft
#5: Healthy Playing Habits and Etiquette
Children can be unruly at times on the playground with others of the same age group. As a parent, tutor your kid to:
- Maintain a queue for his turn
- Not to overcrowd the swing area to avoid getting hurt
- Never push or pinch others
- Slide down carefully
- Not to twist chains or swing sideways
Don’t forget to check out this infographic from ‘Perfect Rubber Mulch’ outlining some great tips and facts for promoting playground safety.
#6: Checklist for Summer Playground Safety for Kids
- Apply sunscreen to kids before they hit the playground
- Reapply sunscreen after every 2 hours
- Carry plenty of water to keep the child hydrated
- Use mittens and hat to beat the heat
Children are always thrilled to hit the ground. Even in this age of Kindles, Smartphones, and Xboxes, the happiness on a child’s face on the playground is incomparable. Use these healthy habits for children while playing to prevent unfortunate incidents.