Parents love to see their little ones having fun but at the same time they also realize that every new step that children take could be a risk of injury or falling. This is especially true with toddlers who are new at walking and are just learning the idea of independent play time on the preschool playground equipment. For them every new game is a new discovery and their excitement to learn and explore more makes it even more worrisome for parents. It is not unusual for parents to dread the commercial playground equipment. Slides, swings and fire poles are adored by kids but they can be dreaded by parents. And they might very well actually be dangerous.
Small children can fall and even from a couple of feet such a fall can cause injury. What is even scarier is the fact that according to the Centers for Disease Control each year more than 200,000 children are treated in hospital emergency departments for playground related injuries. However, it is not something that cannot be tackled. With a bit of careful planning and oversight you can make sure that your child can have all the fun with safety. Here are some of the tips shared by the nationwide network of organizations working to prevent children injuries and keeping toddlers aged one to four years safe on the playground.
Look Through the Eyes of a Toddler
When you are learning new things and with preschool playground equipment offering so many exciting possibilities of exploring and experimenting, every play activity on the ground becomes enticing. You need to stay mindful of this perspective while looking for the safety loopholes. Kids would put anything in their mouths and touch and try to play with anything they find a bit interesting. They could try to eat rocks or play with stingy plants or try to climb the stairs just because they think they will find some entertaining stuff on the top of the staircase. None of these activities is safe for kids and can potentially be hazardous. So while you are checking the playground for safety measures keep in mind the behavior and motivations of a toddler.
Equipment Must Be Age Appropriate
Even though all kinds of commercial playground equipment offer play opportunities for children in a range of age groups, it is important to remember that the playgrounds for toddlers should not have the equipment that is only suitable for older children. It is even more important if you are considering your own backyard. Make sure that the area for children less than two years old should have space to move and explore, while the play area for children older than two years and younger than five years should allow for crawling space and small steps.
Take a Look at Their Clothing
Hood and neck drawstrings should be removed from the clothes of all children because they pose the risk of strangulation if they get stuck while they are sliding or running.
Train and Teach The Little Ones
It is important to take precautionary measures but it is equally important to keep the kids informed and educated of the right ways to play and behave on the playground. They must be taught not to push, shove or crowd around the preschool playground equipment. Even if they don’t hurt someone else, this could result in a reaction from other kids and a simple mistake can end up injuring many kids. Therefore training kids the proper behavior is as important as keeping the commercial playground equipment and design safe.