Now that the weather is warm and kids are preparing for summer vacation, the neighborhood playground is about to become a hub of childhood activity. While it’s encouraging to get kids out of the house and participating in outdoor activities, it’s also very likely that first aid safety will become an issue.
Each year, more than 200,000 kids are treated in hospital ERs for playground-related injuries. Many of these accidents can be prevented with the proper supervision. You want to allow your children to explore their independence but safety is also the main priority. There are things you can do to ensure safe summer playground fun!
Adult supervision can help prevent injuries by making sure kids are using the playground equipment properly. If an injury does occur, an adult is on hand to provide first aid right away.
Let’s be honest here, kids aren’t always capable of making the best decisions, and even if they are capable, sometimes they choose the wrong decisions. It’s part of growing up and learning but when safety is a concern this can be scary for parents.
You can visit the playground prior to bringing your child to ensure that there’s a place for you to sit and observe while still giving your child the freedom to play.
If your child is old enough or you feel that they’re responsible enough to handle going to the park without you, it’s still a good idea to go at least once to check out the equipment. Inspect the equipment for sharp points and edges. If the playground is wooden, watch for weak spots or breaks in the wood. You can’t necessarily stop your child from getting hurt on these things but you can make your child aware that the hazards are there and caution them accordingly.
Look for trash, glass, rusted metal, or dangerous plants in or around the playground. Again, issuing a warning about these objects can help your child avoid them. You can also contact your community leaders about cleaning up the park to ensure unnecessary hazards. Check the barriers around the playground as well. Is there a busy street, pond, or well? Your child may not stop at the curb if they’re chasing a ball. A fence or group of hedges in the park’s design can really save lives.
First Aid Training:
Again, if your child is old enough, sending them to a first aid training course is a great idea. This is especially smart if you have an older child with younger siblings. This way, your older child is prepared in case something happens. Basic first aid training will teach you how to identify and treat a variety of medical emergencies. Training courses cover things like burns, cuts, broken bones, head/neck/back injuries, and other weather related injuries like heat stroke or frost bite.
The best thing you can do is to prepare your children through training and conversations. Warn them about any hazards you found on the playground equipment and about what could happen.