Playgrounds may have hazards that can cause injury. Following some basic safety measures can help your child have fun and play safely.
- Make sure there is a soft surface under play equipment, such as sand, wood chips, or rubber matting.
- Check the surface temperature of play equipment if it is warm outside.
- Wooden equipment should be smooth and made from all-weather wood. Check surfaces periodically to make sure there is no splintering.
- Check equipment for loose joints, open chains, exposed bolts, sharp edges, and rust. If the equipment is in a public park, report any problems to the appropriate personnel.
- Children younger than age 5 should be closely supervised and play on the equipment separately from older children.
- Swings should be made from soft and flexible material. Your child should sit in a bucket swing with leg holes until he or she is able to safely sit in the middle of a standard swing. Have your child use both hands. Do not allow more than one child on the same swing. Help your child learn to stay away from swings while others are using them.
- A teeter-totter (seesaw) should only be used by children age 3 and older. Partners should be close in age and of similar weight. Children younger than 3 do not have the physical coordination to safely use this equipment.
- Make sure children go single-file up steps to use slides and that they do not climb up the slide's surface. Have your child exit the landing of the slide quickly, so that other children coming down the slide don't fall on your child.
- Don't let a child younger than 4 use climbing equipment that's taller than he or she is, unless you will watch the child at all times.
- Trampolines aren't safe for children. Even with constant adult supervision and protective netting, many children are injured on them. It's best to keep your child off trampolines.
Also make sure children are not wearing jewellery, such as necklaces, or clothing with strings attached, such as a hooded sweatshirt, that may get caught in the playground equipment and cause injury.
Other Places To Get Help
|Canada Safety Council|
|1020 Thomas Spratt Place|
|Ottawa, ON K1G 5L5|
The Canada Safety Council is a national, non-government, charitable organization dedicated to safety and to helping reduce preventable deaths, injuries, and economic loss in public and private places throughout Canada. The CSC provides resources for safety information, education, and awareness in all aspects of Canadian life—in traffic, at home, at work, and at leisure. The CSC Web site offers a wide variety of safety-related information and education materials for the general public.
|Canadian Paediatric Society: Caring for Kids|
|2305 Saint Laurent Boulevard|
|Ottawa, ON K1G 4J8|
The Caring for Kids website was developed by the Canadian Paediatric Society and provides parents with information about child health and well-being.
|Health Canada: Kids' Health and Safety|
|Address Locator 0900C2|
|Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9|
Health Canada's Kids' Health and Safety webpage provides information to help you make informed choices about your child's health and safety. On this webpage, you can find information about healthy eating, immunizations, physical activity, injury prevention, and toy safety.
Other Works Consulted
- American Academy of Pediatrics (2009). Keeping your child safe. In SP Shevlov et al., eds., Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5, 5th ed., pp. 457–506. New York: Bantam.
- Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness, American Academy of Pediatrics (2012). Trampoline safety in childhood and adolescence. Pediatrics, 130(4): 774–779.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||John Pope, MD - Pediatrics|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics|
|Last Revised||January 9, 2013|
Last Revised: January 9, 2013
Author: Healthwise Staff
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