Playgrounds are a favorite hangout spot for children — even if they’re playing with their phones while sitting on the swings. Playgrounds encourage exercise and help kids connect with their friends. But, allowing your kids freedom on the playground, where they feel most at ease, opens them up to potential safety hazards.
How do you let your kids have fun but still keep them safe? Be cautious. Place signs to make everyone aware of potential dangers, and explain what graphics and numbers on the signs mean to keep the kids protected.
Some common playground risks include:
1. Accidents during play, on slides, jungle gyms, swings, etc.
2. Exposure to animals, toxic substances, or waste.
3. Unauthorized vehicles or unsafe driving.
4. Bullying, or contact with strangers.
Common Playground Hazards:
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported from 2001-2008, playground hazards caused over 200,000 annual injuries for children. Common hazards include structural failures, falls, and collisions.
Common Playground Injuries:
A CDC report found nearly half of playground injuries are serious enough for the emergency room, including internal injuries and concussions. Other common injuries include cuts, bruises, strains and sprains.
What Can We Do?
It’s impossible to completely prevent accidents on playgrounds, but playground signs
politely inform everyone of rules and regulations. Whether playground equipment is safe for a child depends on their size and motor skills.
Adult supervision is helpful to remind children to take care, and trained adults can carry out first-aid procedures, if necessary. Lack of supervision is associated with about 40% of playground injuries.
Proper installation and maintenance of play equipment is also important. Poor construction and surfacing, or a slight imbalance on playgrounds can trigger one of the top causes of playground injuries – falling.
The CPSC playground safety handbook recommends placing playground signs in or around the equipment to help bridge this gap. Appropriate playground signs are essential to keep your children safe.