Playgrounds and outdoor play equipment offer kids fresh air, friends, and exercise. So it’s important for parents to make sure that faulty equipment, improper surfaces, and careless behavior don’t ruin the fun. Each year, more than 200,000 kids are treated in hospital for playground-related injuries. Many of these accidents can be prevented with the proper supervision. You can make the playground entertaining and safe for your kids and the other benches and grills and tables too by checking them for potential hazards and following some simple safety guidelines.
In the safest playgrounds, play areas for younger children are separated from those meant for older kids and signs clearly designate each area to prevent confusion. Younger children should not play on equipment designed for older kids because the equipment sizes and proportions won’t be right for small kids, and this can lead to injury. Likewise, older kids shouldn’t play on equipment designed for younger ones. Smaller equipment and spaces can cause problems for bigger kids. Because swings, slides, and climbing equipment are so different from one another, each requires a different set of safety considerations. And some kinds of equipment are not safe for playgrounds, no matter how careful kids are. Because seesaw use requires cooperation between kids, they’re generally not recommended for preschoolers unless the seesaw has a spring-centring device to prevent abrupt contact with the ground. Regardless of design, both seesaws and merry-go-rounds should be approached with caution. Seesaw seats are like swings: one child per seat. A child who is too light to seesaw with a partner should find a different partner — not add another child to his or her side of the seesaw. Kids should stand back from a seesaw when it’s in use. They should never stand beneath a raised seesaw, stand and rock in the middle, or try to climb onto it while it’s in motion. Swings are the most frequent source of childhood injuries from moving equipment on a playground. But a few simple precautions can help keep kids safely swinging in the breeze: Kids should always sit in the swing, not stand or kneel. They should hold on tightly with both hands while swinging, and when finished swinging, stop the swing completely before getting off.
Care should be taken that the benches do not rust and no nails are out so that no harm is done to anybody. Proper maintenance is required too. This benefits in the long run!