Ensuring safety on the playground

March 31, 2015

The playground is more than just that place where your children have fun. The playground is also an important arena for your children to learn many valuable skills, such as coordination, sharing and facing your fears.

As a parent, you might be concerned about the potential risk of playgrounds, especially when they have jungle gyms.  Seeing as how the playground is such an essential component in your child’s healthy development, you wouldn’t want them to miss out, but you do want them to be safe.

Here are a few tips to make sure safety is always a priority on the playground.

Examine the playground first

Before letting the kids loose, have a once over of the facilities to make sure that everything is as it should be. Check for faulty equipment and other potential hazards such as broken glass, exposed nails or rusted metal.

The playground must look like it is properly maintained. However, being well-looked after is not always enough. It is also important that the play area was properly designed in the first place. Read here for more in-depth details about what a properly designed playground consists of.

Adult supervision

There should always be an attentive adult supervising play time. The more children there are, the more adults there need to be. There should be at least one adult present for every 20 children on the playground. A particularly rambunctious group might need more adults present though.

An adult needs to make sure the equipment is safe to use and the equipment is being properly used. Risk doesn’t only come from the equipment. An adult will also look out for rough behaviour and make sure everyone is playing together nicely.

If there is an accident, having an adult on standby ensures the right course of action can be taken swiftly.

Teach kids about safety

It is important that you educate your children about safety. They need to know how to play on jungle gyms properly. For instance, they should slide feet first, wait their turn and they should not stand on swings or climb outside guardrails.

It’s not just about knowing how to use facilities correctly though. It is also necessary that you stress the importance of playing safe and being responsible.

Know what is suitable at what age

It is good for your child to be exposed to the playground at a young age. However, it is important that you don’t let your children use equipment or perform activities that are not suitable for their age. For example, kids younger than five generally don’t have the upper-body strength needed for climbing and should not be allowed on monkey bars or other climbing equipment. Here are more guidelines for responsible physical activity for children under the age of five.

By making sure that safety is always a priority on the playground, there is no reason for you to be anxious about letting your children have fun. This is a wonderful place for your kids to simply be kids, and an important part of a child’s development. By letting your children have fun on the playground, they get all the benefits of exercise through play, while also learning a thing or two about responsibility and safety.

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