Playgrounds provide children with a great opportunity for exercise, social interaction, and fun. Because children require at least 60 minutes of activity per day, it’s important to ensure these play-friendly spaces are safe.
Each year, 76% of child injuries occur on public playgrounds. Luckily, most of these are preventable with basic supervision and safety habits in place. These playground safety tips enable us to focus on maintaining a healthy environment for children while preventing playground injuries and falls.
Here are ways to get involved:
- Remove any loose items that could get caught on playground equipment or pose a choking hazard to children – this includes necklaces, scarves, bags, and clothing with drawstrings. Make sure children are wearing comfortable, closed shoes for playing on equipment.
- Teach children that pushing, shoving, tripping, or crowding others while on the playground can be dangerous.
- Nearly 70% of all playground injuries are a result of children falling on the ground. Check to make sure fall-safe surface material is present such as mulch, sand, rubber mats, or synthetic turf. Surfaces should not be concrete, grass, asphalt, blacktop, packed dirt or rocks.
- Ensure that playgrounds are being maintained and inspected by quality personnel. Equipment should be free from dangerous debris such as broken glass, twisted metal, sharp sticks, and other materials which may cause harm or injury to children.
- Be sure that play areas for younger children are clearly separated from those meant for older kids. Typically, playground areas are designed for three different age groups: infants and toddlers under two years old, preschoolers two to five years old, and school-age children five to 12 years old.
- 40% of all playground injuries are related to climbing equipment. Make sure guardrails or barriers surround raised platforms to keep children under four from playing on these facilities.
- Create and distribute posters in schools and community areas outlining safe playground practices and behavior.
- Most importantly, supervise children while they are playing. Adult supervision helps prevent injuries by making sure kids avoid unsafe behavior. Additionally, if injuries occur, adults can administer first aid right away to children in need.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission provides a public playground safety checklist and additional safety guides to assist parents, teachers, and school administrators in keeping children safe. Help spread the word about playground safety by sharing these tips and guidelines with others.
What are your playground safety tips? Share your ideas in the comments below or by tweeting us, @MassGov.
National Down Syndrome Awareness Month posted on Oct 17
Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. One in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome according to the National Down Syndrome Society. The disease affects a child’s physical development, language, and cognitive skills. Massachusetts participates in Down …Continue Reading National Down Syndrome Awareness Month
National Teen Driver Safety Week posted on Oct 16
Getting behind the wheel for the first time can be exciting for teens, but a worrying experience for parents. While driving safely is a responsibility for all motorists, teen drivers are more prone to high-risk behavior behind the wheel. According to the most current data …Continue Reading National Teen Driver Safety Week
Assistive Technology for the Blind posted on Oct 15
Massachusetts strives to improve the quality of life for vision-impaired residents through unique programs and services. Among these efforts, the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) – a division of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) – works to make assistive technology …Continue Reading Assistive Technology for the Blind