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Playground Safety for Children: Rules, Precautions & Importance


Playgrounds are a place of excitement, adventure, forging lasting friendships for children. Playing outdoors allows children to explore their surroundings and be able to play freely in a larger space.  However, as parents and educators, it is our responsibility to provide a safe and secure environment for children to unleash their energy. Unfortunately, playground-related injuries have claimed the lives of at least 147 children, in India, between 1990 to 2000, making it crucial for parents to understand the potential hazards that prevail in playgrounds.

In this blog, we will offer practical insights and guidance on various aspects of playground safety and the precautions one needs to take to safeguard and prioritize children’s well-being at a playground.

Choose a safe playground

When it comes to finding a safe and secure playground for your little ones, pay attention to the location and surroundings. The playground must be situated away from busy streets and have enclosed barriers or fences.

Check the equipment before use

Before allowing children to use the playground equipment, check for its age appropriateness and any potential hazards. Every piece of equipment should have a label or sign indicating the recommended age group.

Loose bolts, sharp edges, broken swings, and chipped wood are some of the hazards to look out for in the equipment. Report the problems to appropriate authorities or avoid using the equipment until it has been repaired or replaced.

The playing equipment should have a good amount of space between them. Equipment like swings, slides, and merry-go-rounds, require an adequate amount of space around them, to enable children to enter and exit the equipment safely. For example, a child using a swing should not collide with a child coming down a slide.

Inspect the surfaces

Choose playgrounds with surfaces that provide good cushioning such as rubber mats, wood chips, sand, or synthetic turf. Avoid hard-surfaced playgrounds made up of gravel, concrete, grass or asphalt as they can cause severe injuries in case of a fall.

The surfacing around any playing equipment is recommended to be at least six feet wide and 12 inches deep based on the height of the equipment.

Ensure adult supervision

For children below 10 years of age, ensure adequate adult supervision by someone who can administer first aid in case of an emergency. Having adults watch over their playtime allows timely interventions in case of injuries and prevents unsafe behaviour. Responsible adults will be able to pinpoint potential hazards and guide children away from them whenever needed.

Dress appropriately

Encourage children to avoid wearing loose clothing, jewellery, scarves or carrying flowy items of clothing on themselves when at the playground. These could get caught on equipment and cause injury.

Ensure they wear comfortable clothing which allows a full range of motions such as jeans, sneakers, and closed-toes shoes to get a firm grip on surfaces. Dressing as per the weather conditions will ensure they stay protected from excessive sun, cold or rain.

Follow rules and signs

Parents should educate their children to understand and follow the rules and signs posted in the playground area. Rules might include guidelines for using the equipment such as avoiding climbing or sitting on the equipment not designed for it or an indication that certain types of equipment are off limits due to maintenance or safety issues.

Running, jumping or climbing should be done in a controlled manner with awareness about other children’s presence.

Ensure proper usage of equipment

Educate children to use the equipment it is intended for. Discourage habits such as standing on swings, climbing up slides, swinging too high or twisting on the swings, to avoid falls and collisions. Children should be taught to:

  • Never push or rough play while on slides, seesaws, swings, logrolls and other equipment.
  • Slide feet-first and make sure there are no other kids in the way when jumping off the equipment or sliding down.
  • Land on both feet with knees bent slightly when jumping down.
  • Check equipment in the summer before using them. Especially metal slides and handrails can become burning hot during this time which can cause burns.
  • Never swing with two people on a single swing.
  • Never try to get on a seesaw when it is in motion and keep their legs away from underneath the seesaw.
  • Use climbing equipment such as vertical walls, and horizontal ladders with caution. Use both hands to climb and stay well behind the person climbing ahead of them.
  • Do not carry anything in your hand while climbing.

Consider the time of day

During the summers, it is best to take children to the park early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid continuous exposure to the sun during peak hours. Protecting them from the sun’s harsh rays is vital to avoid sunburns and heat strokes. Apply sunscreen to the exposed parts of the skin, such as the face, neck, arms and legs. Shield their eyes, with hats and sunglasses from direct exposure to the sun.

Also read | 10 Healthy Tips for Kids during Summer

Carry a first aid kit

It is important for parents are caretakers who accompany the children to have basic first aid knowledge for playground injuries such as cuts, bruises, sprains, and minor falls. Carrying a well-stocked first aid kit will help them clean wounds appropriately and promptly.

The kit must include items such as adhesives, bandages, gauze pads, scissors, antiseptic lotions, wipes, and gloves along with basic medicines. Keep emergency contacts in handy including the ambulance, the nearest hospital, your child’s paediatrician and a general physician who will be able to provide swift medical assistance in case of an emergency.

Mark out the designated game areas

Any designated areas in the playground meant for sports involving bats and balls, such as volleyball, basketball, football, and cricket, should be marked out with rules. Providing high fencing to mark out these spaces would prevent accidental injuries and ensure smooth and safe play for everyone on the playground.

Also Read: What Is Physical Activity & Fitness for Students

At EuroSchool, we lay emphasis on safety measures in a playground. When it comes to playground safety rules and guidelines, we pay close attention to the infrastructure and maintenance of our premises. Regular inspections are carried out to identify any potential hazards on the field. Trained staff members monitor the activities of students on the playground to ensure safety rules are followed in the playground. At EuroSchool, we prioritise a safe space for children to play and grow, also providing parents with peace of mind regarding their child’s safety while at school.

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