Tips For Keeping Kids Safe on the Playground
With warmer weather approaching, child care centers will be heading outside to the playground so the children can enjoy the fresh air and outdoor activities. Your playground is an extension of your child care environment and will look different depending on the type of program you operate and the ages of the children in care.
Safety is a big factor to keep in mind when planning that trip to the playground. Consider some of the following statistics:
More than 200,000 injuries occur on playgrounds every year. Falls are the most common type of injury, accounting for more than 75 percent of all playground-related injuries. Lack of or improper supervision is associated with approximately 45 percent of injuries.
Playground Safety – Here are a few tips for keeping kids safe on the playground:
- Supervision: All areas of your outdoor play space should be visible to staff and easily supervised at all times. Your children will be encouraging your staff to be active too!
- Equipment: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing playground equipment.
- Playground surfacing: The leading cause of playground injury is inadequate playground surface material. Use shock-absorbing materials such as wood chips, pea gravel or sand.
- Dress appropriately. Drawstrings on clothing, loose clothing or shoestrings can become entangled, can get caught on equipment and pose a strangulation hazard.
- Age-appropriate toys and equipment: The right play equipment will depend on your space and the age(s) of children in care. Safe playground equipment is different for every age group.
- Teach children that pushing, shoving or crowding while on the playground can be dangerous.
So enjoy the outdoors and stay safe!