The playground can be a source of great joy for our children. However, it can also be the cause of serious accidents if safety measures have not been taken or if it is not properly upkept.
Children should not play without supervision!
We allow our children to play so long as we pay attention and follow some simple guidelines, so as to avoid accidents.
In order to enjoy our visit to the playground, we must first make sure that we do the necessary security checks.
Check the facilities:
• We check the ground in the playground. The surface should be soft : lawn, soil (or foamed plastic in an indoor playground). We avoid playgrounds that have cement or gravel because they can be the cause of serious accidents.
• We ensure that the ground around the recreational equipment is clean and free of obstacles such as rubbish, wood, etc.
• We check the equipment in the playground. We make sure that it is in good condition and that there are no rusty pieces of metal, protruding nails, broken parts or other objects that can cause an accident.
• In the summer, we avoid metal slides and steps which are directly exposed to the sun, as they can cause burns. We choose a playground with shade, protected from the sun.
• If it has rained, we make sure that there is no water on the equipment as the child may easily slip. Beware of the streams and lakes that can be found in the playground. Small children can drown in only a few centimeters of water and in a very short period of time.
We supervise children constantly:
• We teach them not to stray from the playground. We prefer places that are fenced in.
• We explain to them the rules of the game. We make sure that they will use the equipment correctly and that they will not attempt to jump from the swing before it stops or try to descend the slide head-first. On the see-saw they need to know when it’s the right time to get up. If they get off when the other child is still in the air or if the other child leaves the see-saw without both of them having their feet on the ground, then one of them will end up becoming injured.
• We explain to the child that they have to wait until the merry-go-round stops completely before getting on or off it. We should also teach them to hold tight and not jump on it.
• When other children are using the swings, we must explain to our child not to pass in front or behind them.
• We teach them not to spin the swings as they risk being injured when the swings unroll.
• We teach our children to respect the other children in the playground. They should not push the other youngsters and should wait for their turn to use the equipment.
• We guide them to the right equipment according to their age. A child younger than 5 years old does not have the strength to climb or to use the horizontal bar.
• They must not put anything in their mouth.
• We teach them to throw rubbish in the waste-bin, but that they should never pick anything up from it.
Prepare the children before going to the playground:
• The children must always wear a hat and should never forget to use sunscreen lotion, even during the winter months.
• We choose clothes that are comfortable for them to play in, without being restrictive or too warm. Tight jeans for boys or skirts for girls are not appropriate.
• We should always have a change of clothes with us, especially for the very young children. If the child is very sweaty, we change his/her clothes before leaving the playground.
• Avoid clothes with hanging strings as they might get caught up in some of the equipment.
• Make sure that they wear sports shoes and their laces are properly tied.
• We should always have a bottle of water with us. It is very important for our children to drink water frequently.
Safety does not mean over-protection !!
Children should not fear the playground but enjoy it, at the same time taking all the necessary safety precautions.