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Playground Safety

Playgrounds are a great place for children to exercise and develop new skills. Unfortunately, more than 213,000 children are treated in emergency departments in the U.S. for playground-related injuries each year.

Playground Safety

Playgrounds are a great place for children to exercise and develop new skills. Unfortunately, more than 213,000 children are treated in emergency departments in the U.S. for playground-related injuries each year.

PLAYGROUND SAFETY TIPS

  • Remove bike helmets before playing on equipment. Helmets can cause head entrapment and strangulation when used on playgrounds.
  • Wear closed-toe shoes during play.
  • Do not wear clothing with drawstrings or jewelry around the neck.
  • Avoid trampolines, rope swings, swinging exercise rings, and trapeze bars.
  • Check to make sure play equipment is appropriate for your child’s age and ability.
  • Always supervise your children on the playground.

CHILDREN YOUNGER THAN 6 YEARS

Young children do not have the upper arm strength, hand grip size, and coordination for some play equipment. The following are NOT recommended for children younger than 6 years:

  • Free-standing arch climbers
  • Seesaws
  • Parallel bars
  • Log rolls
  • Track rides
  • Sliding poles
  • Spiral slides
  • Overhead rings

CONDITION OF EQUIPMENT

Not all playgrounds are safe. Injuries can be prevented by checking the condition of the equipment and surroundings before play.

  • Do not use equipment installed over blacktop, concrete, dirt, or grass. Play equipment should have sand, rubber, mulch, or other safety surfacing under and around it.
    • Most injuries happen when a child falls from equipment, especially if onto a hard surface.
  • Stay away from equipment with rust, cracks, rotten areas and loose or missing parts.
  • In warm weather, play equipment can get hot enough to cause burns. Check the surface first before allowing children to play.
  • Do not allow children to add strings, ropes or pet leashes to playground equipment.
    • The most common cause of playground-related death is strangulation from clothing, strings or ropes.

 

Content provided by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s