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Playground Safety Tips for Concerned Parents

Every parent knows how nerve wracking it can be to send your child to school for the first time. Suddenly they’re spending a large part of the day under the supervision of someone else. As a parent, it’s normal to worry about what could happen. But as time goes on you begin to relax, and school becomes a regular part of life for you and your child.

This is obviously a good thing. Parents should be able to trust the teachers and supervisors at their child’s school, knowing that proper safety precautions are always taken, particularly during recess and playground time.

But even if you trust the teachers and supervisors at your child’s school, it’s never a bad idea to think about extra safety precautions you can take, and wisdom you can instill in your kids, for safer playground experience both in and away from school.

1. Make sure you’re familiar with the playgrounds

It’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the outdoor and indoor areas at school where your child will be playing. If you notice any potential dangers such as faulty equipment or sharp surfaces, report these to the school. Also talk to your child about

2. Instill good playground habits in your child

Many playground mishaps, injuries and accidents result from children crowding each other, pushing, pulling or shoving. Obviously, it’s natural for kids to play this way, but it’s good to remind your child that reckless behavior can lead to someone getting hurt. Wait your turn, don’t push, and always keep safety in mind — these are good habits to instill in your child.

3. Keep apparel in mind

It’s easy to overlook, but apparel and accessories can often make playgrounds more dangerous. Necklaces and clothing with drawstrings, for example, can become hazards on the playground.

4. Make sure that children of different ages are playing separately

Playground injuries also often occur when there is a significant age gap between the kids who are playing. Bigger kids have more weight and strength, yet may not have the judgment or awareness of how their size might affect younger children. This is a concern to keep in mind as you think about the safety of your child’s playground at school.

Dealing with playground mishaps

Your school will have a nurse on staff who can provide a good first response when some kind of playground injury or accident does happen. In the event that you, the parent, get a call from the school to inform you that your child has suffered a mishap on the playground, it’s good to know where the nearest urgent care center is located. You’ll be able to get your child in the door and in front of a qualified medical professional (either an MD, a PA or a qualified nurse) right away for accurate diagnosis and treatment. Most playground accidents are mild, but may require some form of treatment to make sure the healing happens quickly, with a minimum of discomfort to your child. By taking a little extra time to think about playground safety, you’ll have better chances of never having to visit urgent care for a mishap.

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