5 Important Tips for a Safe Playground Trip
The smell of fresh cut grass.
The feel of the breeze as you glide down the sliding board.
The warmth of the sun on your face as you swing.
Some of our fondest memories as children center around days spent at the local playground. And as the weather warms up, children and parents alike are looking forward to spending more time outdoors. To help keep your family safe, here are a few simple tips for planning a safe and fun day of play at your community playground.
Safety Over Style
Properly dress for the weather conditions, but in case the weather turns fickle, be sure to keep extra weather appropriate items on hand. Leave an extra hat, gloves, and other winter gear in the car just in case it gets chillier than you anticipated. In the transitioning months, it’s best to dress in layers.
While summer sandals are stylish, adorable, and easy to slip on, active outdoor play with inappropriate shoes (such as sandals) often lead to toe and foot injuries. Select a shoe that covers your child’s foot completely and can support their active play.
There is a common misconception that you cannot get dehydrated during colder months. Regardless if it’s hot or cold outside, children (and adults) need proper hydration during active play. Make sure you pack plenty of water!
First aid kits are not always available on or near the playground. Keep your own fully-stocked first aid kit, including an emergency contact card, at all times when you go outside or take walks. Have access to important phone numbers in the event of an emergency or in the unforeseen circumstance that something may happen to you.
Protection From the Elements
Plan on time outdoors daily, temperature permitting. Protect your child from the elements by applying sunscreen (even on cloudy days) and look for a shady spot. Not only do shade structures protect you from the sun, but also from light rain, wind or snow. Protection from the elements also includes long sleeve shirts, hats, and coats.
Take a Look Around
Do a quick but thorough visual check to ensure that the area is safe when you enter a playground, even if it is one you are familiar with. In addition to visually inspecting all of the equipment, make sure that nothing unexpected or hazardous has been left behind or deposited in that area since your last visit (items thrown or blown over the fence, dropped or forgotten items, etc.).
Now that you have taken the proper precautions for a safe playground venture, it’s time to have fun and enjoy the fresh air!