Play Your Part

by Terry Bryant

playground safety

How Safe is Your Child’s Playground?

Playtime is not just for kids. Adults must play their part in supervising kids on the playground. With school back in session, kids are eager to try out new things on the playground that they may not have been strong enough or big enough to do last school year.  With that comes responsibility for the adults entrusted with the supervision and education of these children.

More than 200,000 kids are treated in emergency rooms each year for playground injuries.  Together, we can prevent these injuries and provide a safer playground experience.

First, be sure to check the playground equipment to make sure it is all in proper working order.  No hard surfaces where kids can fall.  No slick spots from recent rain or snow.

Second, determine whether the playground equipment is age appropriate.  Don’t let toddlers loose on tall equipment.  They may not be strong enough to hang on to the handrails.  Likewise, do not let elementary children use preschool equipment.  They may be too big to fit through tunnels designed for children smaller than them.

Third, always arrange adult supervision.  Whether it be teachers at recess or a neighborhood mom after school, it is important that children be monitored, no matter how familiar they are with the playground equipment.  Kids may not be able to accurately gauge the distance between one monkey bar to the next, or how tall that slide really is until they’re halfway up the ladder with a change of heart.

Fourth, play nice. Kids should wait their turn to use playground equipment, patiently stand in line, and then step aside after finishing on the equipment.  Easier said than done, right?  However, this prevents potential injuries caused by pile-ups and overloading playground equipment.

Each state, including Texas, must follow specific regulations for playground safety.  If a child you know has been injured on a playground, contact a Board Certified personal injury lawyer to evaluate your potential claim.