Kids’ toys can occupy children’s attention for a certain number of hours, but no volume of kids’ toys in the world can prevent them from having fun in a playground. Children should be given time to play outdoors if only to give them fresh air and exercise. Going to playgrounds also give them a chance to develop social skills.
Playgrounds, however, are not exactly the safest place to leave a child unattended. Adult supervision is needed to make sure that children’s behavior around playground equipment will not harm them or the other children. Adults must also make sure that the playground itself is safe for use.
Parents and guardians are also responsible for teaching the children on how to be safe while at play. These are general rules that children must learn about playground safety:
1. No pushing
Emphasize to kids, especially to young boys, the dangers of pushing and roughhousing while on jungle gyms, slides, seesaws, swings, and other equipment. Tell them the possible outcome when they do so – either they get physically hurt or they can injure their playmates.
2. Use equipment correctly
Before letting them play, it is important to teach them the proper way of using the playground equipment. Children are most likely to use the playground equipment based on their own imagination. Thus, it must be taught that they must slide with their feet first when playing on slides, and that they should not climb outside guardrails. They should also be reminded not to stand on swings and not to place their hands near moving parts.
3. Jump with caution
Reminding a child not to jump while playing is an exercise in futility. It is far more productive to teach them that when they jump, they should check first that there are no other children in their way, and that they should land on both feet with knees slightly bent.
4. Leave your things in a proper place
Teach them to be mindful of all possible tripping hazards like tree roots and rocks. Make them realize why it is important to keep bags, backpacks, bikes, and other kids’ toys away from the area where they are playing.
5. Don’t play when equipment is wet or hot
Children should be taught the dangers of using wet playground equipment. Parents must point out that moisture causes the surfaces to be slippery and could lead to accidents.
During summer, children must also be reminded not to play on hot equipment especially those that are made of metal.
6. Leave kids’ toys behind
Children, especially the younger ones, must be discouraged from carrying kids’ toys while at play so they can properly hold on to the playground equipment.
7. Don’t wear anything with strings
Emphasize to kids the danger of wearing clothes with drawstrings while in a playground. Little girls must be made aware that the straps of their handbags or their necklaces can get caught on equipment and accidentally strangle them.
8. Choose play structures wisely
Children must understand the dangers of playing on structures that are too big or too small for them. Playing can be unsafe if the equipment was not designed for their age group.
9. Wear sunscreen
Encourage kids to wear sunscreen to prevent sunburn.
Adults can supervise kids at play but their greater responsibility is to teach the kids how to act responsibly in a playground.