By Dr. Stacey Maslow
Department of Pediatrics, Reliant Medical Group
Children love to play! Playgrounds can be fun, exciting, creative places to play. Every pediatrician, however, has treated children who have been hurt at their local playground. Following the guidelines below will help make your child’s next visit to the playground safer and more enjoyable.
- Adults should always be present to make sure children play responsibly on playgrounds and keep an eye out for potential dangers.
- If you see any pushing or shoving, intervene immediately and let children know that aggressive behavior won’t be tolerated.
- Teach your child to be aware of strangers who may try to interact with them. Advise them to run away and call for help if they encounter someone who makes them feel unsafe.
- Have your child to take their helmet off before playing at the playground. The straps can get caught on equipment and prevent your child from breathing.
- Be aware that jewelry, scarves, and clothing with strings can also get caught in equipment and also be a hazard.
- Be extra attentive when children are playing on swings and slides. Children should not stand up on swings or swing too high.
- Don’t let children climb up the front of a slide as it can cause collisions with other sliders. Always have children slide feet-first for safety.
- Don’t let children climb higher than where an adult can reach them.
- Soft surfacing around playground equipment should extend at least six feet in all directions.
- Around swings, the protective surfacing should extend twice the height of the suspending bar (if the swing is 10 feet high, the surfacing should extend 20 feet).
- Tell appropriate authorities if playground equipment is broken and don’t let children play on it until it is fixed.
About Stacey Maslow, MD
Dr. Maslow has been practicing medicine for 17 years. When asked why she became a doctor, Dr. Maslow explains, “As a small child I frequented urban areas while accompanying my grandmother on various immigration and health projects that were her passion. These experiences sparked my fascination with how city life effects people and their physical and emotional health. I decided at the age of 11 that I wanted to be a doctor because I...View profile View posts by this doctor