Don't Play Around: Teaching Your Kids Playground Safety
Even though playgrounds can be a fun place for kids to play, children need to learn safety measures to keep from getting injured. Playing outside is great for children’s development, but parents should teach their kids the proper way to act while using the equipment. This includes teaching kids common sense playground safety rules like no rough horseplay, taking turns, and checking that the equipment is safe for use before getting on it.
How to Act
Kids are bound to become competitive with other children on playgrounds where they might be away from adult supervision. Older kids might intimidate or tease younger children, and parents should show their kids how to handle these situations by doing some interactive role-playing. Accidents typically occur when children are not properly supervised and/or are not following the basic safety rules that all kids should be taught.
Another important part of teaching playground safety to children is to ensure that they only use age-appropriate equipment. Parents should always check out any playground area to ensure that their child is old and strong enough to use each piece of play equipment before sending the child to daycare, school or to a friend's backyard playset. Parents should test each playground piece to make sure their child is the proper size to use it safely. A child who is short for their age may be unable to use higher jungle gyms or other climbing apparatus safely on their own. Likewise, a child who is larger for their age might be unsafe using a smaller piece of equipment intended for smaller kids like bouncy horses or baby swings.
Poorly Maintained Equipment
Maintenance is required on a regular basis for any sort of children's playground. Lack of maintenance is a leading factor in playground-related injuries across the country. Parents can help to ensure that this job is done by qualified individuals by joining parent groups and community committees. Sometimes, it just takes one voice to call attention to this dangerous situation for change to occur. Many communities have parks and recreation staff that could be in charge of these necessary duties.
Concerned parents should bring up playground safety at their community meetings, or they can contact their neighborhood representatives by phone or mail to address the problem. Parents who are proactive in teaching their kids how to be safe while on a playground can help keep their children and others from becoming unnecessarily injured. Playground safety should be something every community looks into.
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