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
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
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
Current as ofSeptember 9, 2014
Current as of: September 9, 2014
Public Health Alerts
Public health alerts include information about outbreaks, advisories and product recalls. Click on the links below to read the most recent alerts, or visit our Public Health Alerts web page.
Want More Information?
HealthLink BC, your provincial health line, is as close as your phone or the web any time of the day or night, every day of the year.
Call 8-1-1 toll-free in B.C. or for deaf and hearing-impaired, call 7-1-1.
You can speak with a health service representative, who can also connect you with a:
- registered nurse any time, every day of the year;
- registered dietitian from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday;
- pharmacist from 5pm to 9am, every day of the year.
Translation services are available in more than 130 languages.
FIND Services and Resources
If you are looking for health services in your community, you can use our directory to FIND hospitals, clinics, and other resources.
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Is it an emergency?
If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be life-threatening. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately. If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.