Going to the playground is supposed to result in some fun family memories that you will cherish for years. Sadly, the majority of playground injuries happen in public spaces where parents and other family members are responsible for watching after their little ones. In addition to providing constant supervision to your child, you can use these tips to make sure that everyone has a safe experience.
Check Out the Ground Surface of the Park
Your child may be ready to hit the ground running once you hit the local park. However, you need to give the surface that those little feet are running on a good look. The ideal playground safety surfacing is designed to be shock absorbent and capable of protecting children from injury during falls. Look for parks with surfaces such as poured in place rubber or engineered wood fiber that provides better cushioning than plain dirt or rocks.
Give the Park Equipment a General Inspection
You might not be a playground equipment expert, but you can often find issues with toys that are obvious to the average parent. For instance, all of the equipment should be strongly bolted together, and you should be concerned about things such as loose panels on playground structures. Plastic equipment that is clearly sun damaged and wooden equipment with obvious splinters should be avoided.
Look For Playgrounds That Focus on Inclusion
Playground designers that add inclusive equipment into their park’s layout are likely to be focused on safety. If your child has conditions that alter their mobility, then look for a park with equipment that fits their needs such as ramps for wheelchairs or high backed swings. This allows you to know that your child is safe while they also enjoy a day filled with freedom to play as they wish.
Teach Your Child Common Playground Safety Rules
Even the youngest child is capable of learning how to use the equipment safely. Teach children how to walk around swings and other moving pieces of equipment. Your child may also need to know which pieces of equipment are safe for them to use. For instance, a younger child may need to wait until they develop the arm strength to use monkey bars, but they are perfectly safe to enjoy going down the right sized slide.
Get Involved With Your Child’s Play
All of the safety features in the world cannot replace the need for adult supervision. Try to view your time together at the park as an opportunity to watch as your child grows and develops. Hop on a mommy and me swing with them together, or you could put together a game of pretend play on a themed playground. Being involved allows you to keep an eye out for potential problems before they turn into an injury.
While it is important to be cautious, you can relax more when you know that you have selected a safe play area for your child. Always give playgrounds a thorough check before you let your child play, and turn supervising into a fun way to enjoy some family bonding. Discovering your favorite play space gives you a place to go anytime your child needs to burn off some energy and engage in some outdoor activities with their peers.