1. Parenting

Video:Playing it Safe at the Playground

with Kathy Moore

Do you get nervous watching your kids at play on the playground? Learn how to encourage fun while reducing the risk.See Transcript

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Transcript:Playing it Safe at the Playground

Hi I am Kathy Moore for About.com Parenting. Playgrounds are a great place to keep kids physically active and socially involved. But each year, hospitals and doctors treat more than half a million injuries related to playground equipment. This program offers tips on what to avoid at the playground and how to prepare your children to play.

Official Playground Safety Guidelines

The two biggest causes of playground injuries are due to the condition and upkeep of the playground equipment and to childrens behavior while at the playground.

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommend the following guidelines to help keep kids safe:
  • Avoid playgrounds that have concrete, asphalt, hard packed soil or even grass.
    The best surfaces to have under play equipment are wood chips, shredded rubber or mulch.


  • Help your child find equipment that is appropriate for his age.


  • Swing seats should be made of plastic or rubber. Avoid any that are metal or wood.


  • Help monitor the exit areas for slides and merry go rounds, as well as other playground equipment.
    There should be enough space for kids to easily get off. It only takes a second for a child to collide with another child or a moving swing or teeter-totter.


  • Avoid dressing children in clothing with ribbons or strings, like a hooded sweatshirt. These loose strings can catch on a piece of playground equipment and possibly strangle a child.


  • Supervise your children at all times at the playground. Make sure you can see your child regardless of where they are playing. When kids are playing with other kids, they are much more apt to take chances and try new things, so stay alert and active while they explore.


  • Help ensure your playground is in good condition. Extreme weather and heavy use can damage or wear out equipment. Volunteer to help give your playground a safety checkup. No child should use equipment that does not meet the US Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines.

Playing it safe is a good idea whether playing at home or at the park. A few simple precautions may help save you a trip to the emergency room.

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