I hate to start with the bad news, but ...
- over 200,000 children are seen in the emergency room each year due to playground injuries
- around 65% of these injuries involve falls or equipment failures
- around 80% happen from home equipment
The good news ... many of these injuries can be prevent with proper supervision.
Things to keep in mind while at a playground:
- Children cannot necessarily foresee dangerous situations by themselves
- Supervision can sometimes keep older children in check from testing the limits of the playground and playing dangerously
- Make sure you can see your child clearly at all times
When you are going to take your little ones to the playground check it out for safety.
- Make sure the playground surface is soft and thick to cushion a child's fall - wood chips, mulch, sand, pea gravel, shredded rubber or safety mats.
- The play area should be free of standing water, rocks, tree stumps and roots.
- The safest playgrounds have separate areas for different age levels, toddlers to 2, 2 to 5 years old, 5 to 12 years old.
- Swings should be away from the play area.
- Take a look for any broken equipment, cracks, splinters or rust.
- If something looks unsafe or broken make that area off-limits.
Some websites for even more information
Having a child who loves to play outside I know the difficulties of keeping preschoolers off the older child play areas.