Back to School Playground Safety Tips

Playground safety is always important

It is almost time for school to begin again (and in fact, some children are already back!). Can you believe it?  Parents everywhere are rejoicing that the school year is upon us again, but our kids may not be as excited. One thing that kids may be happy about though is time on the playground- and some parents may be anxious about it. If you are pondering all the ways, your little one could get hurt on the playground, stop worrying yourself and take action.

Discuss these playground safety tips with your kids before school begins and remind them from time to time. They are not only important for the school playground but also for most social play settings.

Playground safety tips for children

  • If you are big enough to play on the playground – you are big enough to be responsible for some of your own playground safety.
  • Make sure you can see an adult you know at all times. If something should happen, you will want to get to one quickly.
  • Use all of the playground equipment the way you are supposed to.
  • Keep your hands to yourself. Hitting and pushing other children can lead to accidents and may land you in trouble.
  • If anyone shoves, hits, kicks, or otherwise harms someone else, make sure you tell an adult. You should tell so that they do not hurt anyone else – not to get them in trouble!
  • Wait your turn. Crowding the equipment can lead to accidents and so can pushing your way to the front of the line. This behavior isn’t fun for anyone.
  • Check your shoes are tied, and no loose clothing is being worn before you go onto the playground. These can get caught and make you fall. If you notice your laces come undone, or a piece of clothing comes loose fix it straight away – or ask an adult to help.
  • Know when to tell an adult. If there is a fall and you see blood, get a teacher or another adult. If there is a threat of harm, tell the teacher. If you feel uncomfortable move away from what is making you uncomfortable and talk to an adult about it.

Playground safety tips for parents

  • Check out the playgrounds where your children will play ahead of time if possible. Report any hazards to the school, local authority or whoever owns & maintains the playground.
  • Dress your children appropriately for the playground. They should not be wearing dangling jewelry or loose clothing that could catch on equipment.
  • Make sure the school has your correct contact information in case of an emergency. The same goes for any other organization that is responsible for your child in your absence. The beginning of the school year is an excellent time to check everyone has the most up to date contact information.
  • Give at least two emergency contacts in case you are unexpectedly unavailable. Make sure the other person knows what decisions you would make in a situation of urgency and that they would carry out the same decisions you would.
  • Double check with the school, or playground owner that the equipment is checked regularly and that it meets current legal safety standards – local, regional & national.
  • Discuss safety tips with your child.
  • Make sure your child knows it is okay to tell an adult and when they should do so.

Playground safety tips adults responsible for supervising children on a play equipment

  • Make sure you have playground safety standards that all supervisors know and understand.
  • Have at least two supervisors on the playground at all times.
  • If you see a child hitting or being physical, intervene at once.
  • Make sure children are using the equipment correctly.
  • Discuss playground safety tips with the children.
  • Make sure the children know they can come to you at all times.

The Last Word

Safety is always important. Many accidents are preventable and by utilizing the simple tips in the post above you could avoid bumps bruises and maybe even a trip to the ER.  However, also remember that children need to explore. To run, to climb, to jump, to swing. Play is essential for physical, emotional and social development and we should not deny our children these important developmental opportunities because we are fearful. Like most things in parenting, and its life, it is a balance. So make sure the equipment is safe, they are dressed right, and they know how to behave but remember – a child who never experiences anything negative can become an adult who doesn’t know how to deal with the negative. Let a little bad happen from time to time – it’s an excellent learning experience.

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