With the weather heating up, the excitement of summer vacation becomes evident in schools & daycares everywhere! Staying safe for summer continues to be a top priority, especially when statistics show playground injuries escalate in the month prior to and after summer! It seems that the anticipation of summer or returning to school increases the odds of accidental injury occurring during playtime. In fact:
* 40% of all injuries occur at the beginning and the end of every school year
* 70% occur on public playgrounds
* 70% of those injuries are severe and involve falls to the surface?
* that severe injury includes concussions, stitches, fractures and even worse?
CRAZY, right?! Who knew the changing of seasons could have such a large impact on the number of childhood injuries, especially in a playground setting. Perhaps it’s the influx of excitement or the increased time playing outside in sunny weather; there are many common factors that attribute to the increase in injuries. However, in many cases, these startling accidents can be prevented. Here are a few simple tips to ensure that your little ones stay safe for summer:
- Responsible Supervision – Close supervision by a responsible adult may be the most important factor in preventing injury. Adults should keep a watchful eye on children while they are at play to help prevent accidents or even playground scuffles that can lead to an accident.
- Age-Appropriate Areas – When visiting a playground, look around to make sure it has a separate, age-appropriate area for children 5 and under. This will prevent little ones from getting injuries from accidents or collisions with older children.
- Avoid Hazards – Being aware includes looking for hazards, such as broken playground equipment and dangerous surfaces. In addition, make sure the grounds are as free of any debris (i.e. litter, glass) as much as possible. This can help prevent children from tripping and falling to the ground or causing other injuries like cuts.
- Impact Absorbing Surfaces – There are surfaces specifically designed to help absorb impact in case of an accident. These are the best surfaces for children to play on. Look for playgrounds that have rubber mats or shredded rubber, artificial turf, or even mulch. There are a variety of substances, but the point is to avoid having children at play on non-impact absorbing surfaces, such as concrete or gravel.
- Check Clothing – During the fall and winter months, we often dress our children in layers. This could include hoodies, sweatshirts, or other items that have drawstrings around the neck. To help avoid having children getting these strings caught on playground equipment, parents should remove hood and neck drawstrings from outerwear.
- Remove Bike Helmets – Sometimes parents feel it’s best for children to play while wearing bike helmets to protect their heads in case of an accidental fall. This actually could impede your child’s play for numerous reasons and lead to serious injury. Therefore, it is recommended that bike helmets be removed before children use playground equipment.
- Encourage Proper Behavior – One of the best ways to prevent playground injuries is to teach children proper playground behavior (such as no pushing, shoving, or crowding). Teaching children how to play properly and be respectful of others on playground equipment can help prevent many injuries and scuffles that could lead to injury.
Being safe is the farthest thing from a child’s mind. It is the parents’, educators’, and playground supervisors’ job to alert our children about the potential dangers of school playgrounds. It all starts with these few tips. To help ensure that your child’s teacher and care-providers are informed, use this handy tip sheet provided by Safe Kids Worldwide.
For additional tips on the prevention of broken bones and other “Feel Better, Heal Better” topics, spend a little time on our blog.
Already Injured? We’ve Got You Covered
Maybe you’ve stumbled across our website because your child has already experienced misfortune on the playground! As you can imagine, a child in any type of cast or orthopedic device faces a number of discomforts; casts scratching on skin or Fido, snagging clothing or furniture, not being able to play in water without waterproof protection, boots getting dirty from constant wear & tear? CastCoverz! offers a number of colorful solutions to brighten your child’s injury, helping your little one feel better & heal better.