Playgrounds are a great place for kids to interact and get some much-needed exercise. Despite the many positive attributes offered by recreational play areas, many California families remain concerned about their overall safety. The fact is that playground-related injuries are exceedingly common, and avoidance of these injuries requires the proper protections.
The National Program for Playground Safety provides a number of important safety tips to ensure children remain safe when using playground equipment. First and foremost, equipment must be properly maintained to prevent serious injuries from occurring. Parents can determine the state of equipment by looking for things like exposed bolts or rust, which can cause physical damage during play. Because falls are a primary source of injury to kids, surfaces must be made from appropriate materials (such as rubber or sand).
In addition to being on the lookout for dangerous equipment, adults should also ensure that appropriate clothing is worn on the playground. Children should avoid open-toed footwear when at play, and clothing with drawstrings should not be worn to prevent kids from being caught on equipment. Age can also be a cause for concern, as younger kids are sometimes hurt by those older than them due to more aggressive styles of play.
The importance of playground safety is all too obvious when reviewing injury statistics. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fatalities linked to injuries sustained at playgrounds affected up to 147 children over a ten-year period. Additionally, 200,000 children require emergency medical treatment on a yearly basis due to bodily harm sustained while using playground equipment. Ill-kept equipment can pose a heightened risk of injury to those living in less well-off areas, while climbing equipment is a primary cause of public playground injuries.