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Summer Safety: Playing it Safe

Playgrounds over the last forty years have become significantly safer when taking a look at the high metal slides and tall monkey bars of years past. However, every year more than 20,000 children under that age of 14 are admitted to the Emergency Room for injuries relating to unsafe playground play.

Seventy-five percent of playground injuries happen at a public playground or school. Even though playgrounds today have reduced the height of equipment and offer softer landing surfaces, injuries like brain injuries, broken bones, fractures, and more still occur. As the warm weather bring us outside to play, it is important to remember to keep alert and make sure that the playground is safe for your child.

Supervision

Adult supervision is one of the most important ways to prevent injuries, as well as aid quickly if an injury does occur. Children cannot always gauge distances or foresee unsafe situations.  Supervising children at play can result in less dangerous situations and assisting/providing first aid if an injury occurs.

The playground’s top three pieces of equipment that causes injuries are the monkey bars, climbing equipment, and swings. Keeping an eye on children especially when using these pieces of equipment is important to ensure their safety.

What to Notice

To prevent injury at the playground, it is important to take note of the different areas of potential injury.

 

It is also important to make sure that a child is appropriately dressed.  Clothing like hoodies can result in potential strangulation, while untied shoes can cause trips and falls. Applying sunscreen is essential and keeping the child away from other hazards such as dog leashes, belts, etc. can help reduce accidental injury.

A child should also interact with age-appropriate playground equipment. A three-year-old should not be riding a slide meant for individuals over ten years of age, and vice versa.

If you believe a child has suffered an injury, it is important to have them seen by a medical professional quickly. After a fall or a bump to the head or body, there is a possibility of a concussion. Observing the child and looking for signs of a concussion (being dazed, memory issues, clumsiness, slow speech, etc.) is essential.  If there is any doubt about a possible concussion, seek medical attention immediately.

Keeping safe at the playground is just one way to make sure your summer is off to a great start.

 

Sources: National Safety Council, KidsHealth from Nemours, CDC