How to Avoid Playground Injuries

Every parent experiences playground injuries; Bumps and bruises that occur while romping around on the jungle gym.

playground injuries

Back to school festivities are underway and our children are thrilled to be back with their friends both in class and on the playground. They are sharing their summer stories, laughing together and running around at recess. Ahhh, to be a kid again!   Playgrounds are a great place for children to develop their social and motor skills, but accidents do occur. Here is just a brief reminder to encourage (as much as we can) our children to be safe on the playground.

Each year in the United States, more than 156,000 children under age 14 are treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries occurring on public playgrounds, according to the Centers for Disease and Prevention. About 45% of playground injuries are severe and include broken bones, concussions and dislocations.

READ MORE: Busy Mom Fitness: The Playground Workout

Monkey Bars: Seventy nine percent of equipment related injuries are caused by falls. It is important that children attempt monkey bars when ready and may want to practice with a parent prior to going at it by themselves. Usually they fall and land on their arm stretched out trying to catch themselves and can break their elbow or forearm bones. Monkey bars are the most common cause of fracture of all playground equipment. Work on making slow progress with your child before they attempt the entire overhead ladder.

Swings: On home playgrounds, swings are responsible for most injuries. Injuries on swings due to jumping and falling can lead to potentially sustaining a head or neck injury. Twisting the swings and going too high are the major risk factors to injuries on the swing sets. Make sure you educate your children to avoid walking behind swings while other children are swinging. Also, check out your child’s clothing to avoid strings that may get caught on the swing.

Slides: In order to prevent slide-related injuries it is important to have children go down on the slide by themselves. There is a relationship between shinbone (tibia) fractures and children sliding down in the lap of an adult. The child’s leg can become stuck and twists while the adult keeps going down the slide. Also, make sure children do not push each other down the slide. They should only go down the slide and not try to climb up the slide.

Overall, try to check out the playgrounds where your children may romp around. The playground should look well-maintained and free of rust, exposed bolts and screws, and protruding parts that can get caught on clothing. Playground surfaces that are best include mulch, pea gravel, sand and rubber mats.

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