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Ten Tips to Play It Safe on the Playground

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GameTime cares just as much about the safety of your playgrounds as the fun that can be had on them. That's why we are sharing tips and ideas to keep your playground enjoyable and hazard-free. Worth noting is that proper playground supervision is critical to accident prevention. Our Playground Supervision Guide, which is completely free to you, helps educate parents and caregivers on ways you can keep your children safe on the playground.

Here are ten tips for playground safety:

  1. Actively supervise. Stay alert by scanning the playground, moving around and always keeping kids (especially younger ones) in clear sight
  2. Dress appropriately. Do not dress your child in clothes that have loose strings, such as drawstring pants, halter-tops, etc., that can snag on equipment.
  3. Keep feet covered. Children should wear shoes at all times.
  4. Assess the playground surface. Make sure the playground surface (underneath equipment such as swings, climbers and slides) is mulch, sand, rubber matting or pea gravel. Asphalt, concrete, blacktop, packed dirt and rocks are not fall-safe.
  5. Check equipment before starting to play. Equipment should be reviewed for faults before allowing your children to play. S-hooks should be entirely closed, bolts should not jut out and all equipment should be firmly anchored to the ground.
  6. Review the basics. Go over precautions with your children, such as always taking turns, sliding down feet-first on a slide, watching out for other children before climbing down from a jungle gym and never running in front of the swings.
  7. Remember that age matters. Allow children to play on age-appropriate equipment. Play areas for 2 to 5 year olds and 5 to 12 year olds should be located in separate areas.
  8. Say no to ropes and wooden or metal swings. Children should avoid playing on ropes and on swings that have wooden or metal seats. The likelihood of these items rotting, not being secure or being extremely hot poses a big risk for children.
  9. Bring a first-aid kit. It can be something as simple as a zip-lock bag with some wet wipes, a few adhesive bandages, a tube of antibiotic cream and an EpiPen if your child is allergic to bee stings.
  10. Protect and hydrate! Make sure your child wears sunscreen and stays properly hydrated by drinking water.

Source: The National Program for Playground Safety