10 Tips for Keeping Kids Safe at the Playground

Even though the weather is cooling down in most of the country, there's still plenty of time to get outside. In fact, while the heat is light, it's often easier to enjoy yourself without constantly breaking for water and shade. If your locality has a playground, surely you know how much your children love them. Not only do they get exercise, but lots of helpful social interaction. When you visit a playground, here are some tips to stay safe.

1. Avoid swings with wooden or metal seats.

These have a tendency to pinch fingers and skin, and given enough force, can really do some damage. Opt for the heavier, plastic swings where the chain meets the seat away from the body.

2. Bring a first aid kit.

Playground play can be rough, and that’s certainly okay, but keep a first aid kid in the trunk of your car just in case. It’s a good item to have anyway.

3. Report playground hazards immediately.

If you notice something is broken or something breaks in your presence, report it to the proper authority immediately. It may be the school, park authority, or city council. If it’s not immediately clear who runs the playground, look for a sticker on one of the structures.

4. Actively supervise your children.

Active supervision means, quite simply, paying attention. It probably won’t be that difficult – your kids will demand you watch them slide down the slide or climb up the ladder. The easiest way to supervise is to join in on the fun.

5. Visit a playground with soft surfaces on the ground.

Most playgrounds these days have soft surfaces, but some of the older ones don’t. Most playgrounds have elements that are a bit off the ground, so you want something beneath you that absorbs impacts. You want to play on sites with sand, pea gravel, wood chips or mulch, rubber, or synthetic turf.

6. Dress your kids appropriately.

Loose items like scarves, necklaces, purses, strings, loops, or open sections (like wide-bottomed shirts) can get caught on the playground equipment. These items can also pose a strangulation hazard. Children should always wear shoes.

7. Ensure proper hydration.

The excitement takes over and it’s easy for kids to become dehydrated while they run around with their friends. Keep a bottle of water (and maybe a few snacks) nearby.

8. Teach your kids the rules.

Pushing, shoving, crowding and fighting should be especiallyunpermitted on the playground. Kids should take ladders and slides one at a time, and use the equipment as it is intended. The consequences of injury are higher on a playground.

9. Separate little kids from big kids.

It’s great that you want to give your little one a playground experience, but he or she shouldn’t be playing near older kids who are running and jumping faster and with more force. If older kids are playing in the vicinity, stay near your child or opt to play in a calmer part of the playground.

10. Teach the use of each piece of equipment.

Don’t let your one-year old figure out the slide for herself. Show her a few times by riding with her, then guiding her through it. Then, watch her carefully until you’re sure she understands. This goes for all the other structures.

Guest Blog by Karen Barski, BSN, RN, Mother of five, Certified Infant Care Specialist & Instructor, & Inventor of the  Woombie Baby Swaddle

Karen has been an RN for 18 years, and has worked in many different nursing roles. As a Certified Infant Care Specialist, Karen counsels thousands of families yearly on a multitude of issues relating to pregnancy and infancy. Also, as a mother of five, she has invaluable experience and tips to share.

Since 2007, Karen’s company, KB Designs, has invented a line of signature baby swaddle products that have helped parents easily transition their new babies from womb to home. There are multiple designs and sizes so that babies can enjoy the comfort and security of the Woombie up until the time they begin to roll.

Each product has been created and designed by Karen because of a need she identified in her life with her five children. With convenience, safety, and fashion in mind, KB Designs has helped over a half million babies and counting!

For more information, visit www.woombie.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Sleeping Baby? Send your topic idea to pr@sleepingbaby.com.

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