playground-safety tips

Play it safe at the playground with these safety guidelines for your preschool-age child

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Advice to ensure that sure your day at the playground is a safe and happy affair.
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Preschoolers love the playground. It's the place where their inner daredevil gets to cut loose, which is why it's good to get in the habit of taking the following steps to ensure that you're little ones' favorite play space is also a safe place:
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Check out all playground equipment before your child plays on it. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that play equipment as high as 7 feet have at least 9 inches of wood chips, mulch, or shredded rubber beneath it as cushioning material.
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Make sure all equipment is properly anchored and that climbing surfaces like ladders and steps are safely secured or not missing any steps. Check seesaws for splinters or cracks and overall stability.
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Look for exposed nails or screws, rust, or sharp edges on all play equipment. During summer months and sunny days, check metal surfaces (like those on slides) to make sure they aren't hot to the touch.
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Only let your kids play on playgrounds that have adequate adult supervision. It never hurts to have an extra set of eyes helping you watch your busy little one.
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The AAP advises to avoid dressing kids in loose fitting clothing or clothes with drawstrings or dangling straps when planning a playground playdate. Drawstrings, straps, and loose clothing can catch on equipment, leading to injury or strangulation.
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Teach children the basic rules of the playground, like avoiding walking directly in front of or behind swinging children. To avoid injuries, discourage kids from twisting or pushing empty swings.
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Guide your children to age-appropriate equipment, and monitor them closely. For example, younger preschoolers may need to be in swings that have safety bars and high-backed seats to keep them from falling off.
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Check sandboxes for garbage and debris like cigarette butts, and check all play surfaces for debris like broken glass.

The National Program for Playground Safety has a more information for parents looking for ways to guarantee safer play for their kids. Find more playground safety tips here.

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