Hey there! You’re listening to the Mighty Mommy with some Quick and Dirty Tips for Practical Parenting. Today’s Topic: Playing it Safe; Tips for Playground Safety
Kids love to play outside. Playgrounds and parks are wonderful places to take children to allow them to get some fresh air and exercise. It's important to pay attention to safety when visiting these places. I’m going to share some tips with you to help you keep your children safer when playing on equipment outdoors.
We love to spend time outside when the weather is pleasant and sunny. My first tip is to be sure everyone is dressed accordingly. Avoid baggy clothing and clothing with any type of drawstrings. You'll want to leave any dangling jewelry at home as well. These items can be dangerous if caught or snagged.
Sensible shoes are important for outdoor play. Be sure your child is wearing supportive, athletic shoes. Sandals are cute and fun, but they are not safe for park play. Some children like to run barefoot through the park sand. This is not safe. Please ask your children to keep their shoes on.
Sunblock is a must if you and your child will be spending time in the sun. Even if the sky seems overcast, you’ll want be sure your child’s skin is protected.
When planning any type of outdoor activity, it's always good to bring plenty of drinking water. The exercise and fresh air can make everyone very thirsty, and it's important to stay hydrated. It is also important to have a first aid kit nearby. If you have a cellular phone, be sure to bring that along as well, but only for emergencies. You won’t want to be chatting on the phone when you should be watching and playing with your child.
When you arrive at the playground be sure to check the equipment. Make sure that the surfaces are not wet and slippery or hot to the touch. Metal equipment can get very hot in the summer sun. If you find several items of equipment to be in disrepair, you might want to choose a new location to play.
You’ll also want to take into consideration the age of your child when choosing where to play. Many playgrounds have a separate area for the younger children.
Once you are all set to go, be sure to go over the playground rules with your child. Here are some key items you will want to mention.
- All children need to stay in view of the adult. “If you can’t see mommy, she probably can’t see you.”
- If any playground equipment is broken, do not play on it.
- If you are going to swing, be sure you swing properly by sitting down while you swing. Only one child should be on the swing at any time. Hold on to the swing with both hands. To exit the swing, slow down first and then step off. When walking near or around swings, use extra caution to be sure you are not in anyone’s kicking range.
- When going down the slide, be sure to take turns. One person at a time is safest. Use the appropriate ladder or steps to climb to the top of the slide. Do not use the slide for climbing. It is safest to slide down feet first.
- Always use both hands when climbing. Do not climb wet or slippery surfaces.
- Most playgrounds offer several different types of equipment. I may not have covered them all in this show, but as a parent you will want to be sure your child is using the playground equipment safely. If you see your child using equipment inappropriately, give them direction as quickly as possible. If your child is unable to use the equipment properly, it's best to have them play on something else.
- My final tip for this episode is to pick your playground wisely. Choose an age-appropriate playground that has equipment in good condition. You’ll want it to be either fenced in or set back a considerable amount from any streets. Shaded areas and restrooms are also nice park features for a fun day outside.
That’s it for now. Hope you enjoyed listening. May you have many beautiful days to go out and play!
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Music – “Golly Gee” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons "Attribution 2.0" http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/