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Play Nice: A guide to Preschooler Playground SafetyWe share with you tips on how to ensure your preschooler’s safety with playground equipment.by Jonathan de Santos .
Read on to see more playground safety information.
See me go seesaw
Seesaws and other equipment with moving parts should be placed away from other equipment. Since children tend to run around, they might wander into the path of a seesaw or a swing, says the NPPS.
Adult companions should be watchful that children do not loiter near swings and seesaws when they are in use.
Although it goes against our collective playground wisdom, seesaws should only seat one child on each end. The NPPS says that the best solution to having a seesaw partner who is too heavy is not to add another child to the light end, but to find another partner for both kids. Having more than one child on one end could cause one of them to panic or lose their balance.
Swayin’ on the monkey bar
With monkey bars, jungle gyms, and any equipment that involves height, age-appropriateness is key.
Younger children should not be allowed on playground equipment designed for older, more developed kids. Hand-holds may be spaced farther apart, and a fall from a height that an older kid can just shrug off may cause serious injuries in younger children. Older kids should also not be allowed on equipment not designed for their age as they might get trapped in the narrower, more cramped spaces.
Parents should check the sandbox for debris like broken glass that could cause cuts. Also, sandboxes ought to be covered when not in use to keep stray animals from camping on it. Due to our tropical climate, metal equipment should be checked for rust and wooden structures for weathering. While playground equipment is generally sturdy, rusty edges and splintered wood could easily cause injuries. “I am very strict about this not only because I don’t like dirty equipment, but for safety as well,” shares Lapena.
All playground equipment should be used as intended to minimize risks. Swings were designed for sitting; standing or kneeling on them—while more fun—may cause a child to lose his balance. Going down a slide headfirst is another no-no, as is using a seesaw as a diving board. “I used to do this a lot, but that was in the ’80s, and nobody really cared about injuries back then,” Balanay remarks as he shows his playground battle scars.
Aside from checking the equipment, a safe trip to the playground also requires that a child is accident-proof. Shoelaces should be securely tied to prevent tripping on them or snagging on equipment.
Drawstrings, pendants, and bags could also get caught on equipment which may cause strangulation. As with most physical activities, comfortable, loose clothing would be best.
While no amount of precaution can ensure that your child will never have a skinned knee or a bruised arm, taking the time to survey the playground equipment will reduce the risks of more serious injuries. That way, playground time can be stress-free and fun not just for your child, but for you as well.
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