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Playground Safety

Playground Safety

How are children injured on a playground?

Most injuries are from falling off equipment while climbing or tripping over equipment.  Other injuries happen when being hit by equipment (especially swings) or cuts from sharp edges or exposed nails or screws. 

Many injuries like scrapes and cuts are not serious.  However, some head injuries can be serious or even fatal. 

What kinds of things should I look for?

Platforms that are low to the ground (no more than 8 feet high) and equipment with guard rails.   Look for objects that stick out (bolts, nails, etc.) and hooks that are not closed all the way (S hooks).

Make sure swings have seats that are made of a soft material like rubber, plastic or canvas.  Metal slides that are exposed to sunlight can burn a child.  Plastic slides are less likely to cause burns. Make sure there are no rocks, debris or toys at the base of the slide.  

What kind of surfaces are considered safe?

No surface is totally safe but there are some safer surfaces such as sand, wood chips, mulch or rubber outdoor mats.  Sand and wood chips should be about 10-12 inches deep.  This is especially important under swings and slides. 

See Also

What else? 

Make sure kids dress appropriately for the playground. No necklaces, purses, scarves or clothes with drawstrings as these can easily get caught on equipment. Never let kids play on wet playground equipment as these surfaces will be very slippery.

Most important – watch your children while they are playing!

BY: CINDA SEAMON – Fire & Life Safety Educator Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue

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