Is Your Playground Safe?
As the saying goes, “It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.” Nurse Rose Melendez, RN, a longtime Emergency Department nurse and mother of three, shares her tips for staying safe when playing at the playground.
Playgrounds provide great health benefits for children, but do they pose a risk?
Nurse Rose: Playgrounds are a great way to encourage your child to run, jump, swing and climb – all of which are important to a child’s health, wellness and development. However, nearly 200,000 kids wind up in the emergency room every year because of injuries they got on a playground. That includes playsets in parks, at school and in your backyard.
What should parents look for when visiting a playground?
Nurse Rose: Keep your kids safe – and encourage their adventurous spirit by evaluating the safety of your favorite playgrounds.
- Pick playgrounds appropriate to your child’s age and development.
- Make sure swings, slides and ladders are sturdy and well maintained before letting your children play.
- Visit playgrounds with a soft, impact-absorbing surface like mulch, wood chips, rubber or sand.
How can parents keep kids safe at the playground?
Nurse Rose: While you’re at the playground, follow these simple tips to help your kids play safe.
- Review rules before heading out. Rules should include:
- Staying near parents and caregivers
- Avoiding parking lots and nearby roads
- No pushing or shoving
- Using equipment as its designed
- Walking behind swings
- Keep an eye on your child at all times