Playground safety tips

Courtesy of U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden

  • Never leave your children unsupervised. Supervised children are much less likely to be injured on playground equipment. Stay one step ahead of your child by keeping a close eye on her activities. Read the policy on Child Supervision: click here.

  • Apply sunscreen liberally and often. Avoid overexposure to the sun scheduling activities in the morning or late afternoon.
  • Pack juice or water, not only is it refreshing, it will keep you and your child hydrated.
  • Loose clothing or anything that hangs or dangles, can easily become tangled on playground equipment. Dress your child in clothing that fits properly, allowing for a full range of motion. Also, remove items such as hoods and neck drawstrings from all children’s outerwear to decrease the chance of accidental strangulation.
  • Check to see if the equipment is age appropriate for your children. Remember to check each piece of equipment for dangerous surfaces such as sharp edges or rust. All elevated surfaces, like platforms and ramps, should have guardrails to prevent falls.
  • Review with your children the proper use of the equipment and your family’s basic safety rules e.g., no running, pushing, or hurting other children, respect for other children and people using the equipment.
  • Hold handrails at all times.
  • Keep children under 5 within arm’s reach at all times – they should stay below 5 feet on equipment.
  • Remind children not to go in front of swings.
  • Playgrounds should have a soft deep surface of sand, pea gravel or wood chips that is at least 6 inches deep or soft rubber mats to protect children when they fall – grass, asphalt, concrete and dirt can cause serious injury in a fall.
  • Check that metal slides, steps and platforms are not too hot to touch.
  • Children should wear shoes at all times on playgrounds – sharp objects and glass are always a concern.
  • Tell children to slide down feet first, one at a time, not head first.
  • Long hair should be tied up and loose clothing should not be worn around the playground.