Each year I look forward to the summer months for a variety of reasons: warm weather, golf, cookouts, and – perhaps most important – opportunities for me to take our two young children to the park and watch them play without a worry in the world.
Like most parents, watching my kids on the swings and slides always brings back fun memories from my childhood. I hope my children grow up to have similar experiences that are not only fun, but safe as well.
That having been said, I’d like to share a few playground safety tips that I’ve picked up over the years. Feel free to respond with additional tips in the comments section!
- Make sure playground surfaces aren’t too hot – this is especially important for slides. Many of us grew up in an era when playground slides were made out of metal and it didn’t take a 90-degree day to make those things burning hot! Fortunately, a lot of slides are now made from plastic. However, they can still get quite hot, so be sure to feel the surface with your hand before letting your child take the risk of burning their legs.
- Make sure your child’s clothing doesn’t create extra risks. Extremely loose fitting clothes or clothes with drawstrings can catch on playground equipment and can cause unnecessary danger.
- Make sure the playground surface is adequate. The surface should be rubber matting or made up of items such as ground rubber, wood chips, mulch, or another substance that will soften the blow in the event a fall takes place.
- Always supervise your children and make sure they are using age-appropriate playground equipment. For example, smaller kids shouldn’t attempt to use rock climbing walls and older kids shouldn’t use playground rockers (such as rocking horses) that are designed for smaller children.
In short, just use some common sense so that your kids can have fun without you worrying about their safety. A few preventative measures can go a long way!