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K-5th Grade
5th-7th Grade
Dear Marianne:
I keep reading about "tummy time" for infant play. What is that?
Rachel, Greenville, SC, Mom of Robert (2 weeks)


Parents Can Be Proactive in
Creating a Safe Play Environment on Playgrounds

With springtime approaching and kids’ energy levels skyrocketing from being insideduring the cold, snowy winter season, the playground becomes the environment of choice for school-aged children. But, what most parents don’t know is that as fun as playgrounds appear to be, they are often times the site of unintentional injury for our youngsters. In 2001, more than 235,200 children ages 14 and under were treated in hospital emergency rooms for playground equipment-related injuries. In addition, nearly 40 percent of these injuries sustained occurred during the warmer months, May, June and September.

“It is the responsibility of adults to create play environments that are challenging for children but also reasonably safe,” explains Executive Director Heather Paul, Ph.D., “Utilizing age-appropriate equipment, following a regular maintenance schedule, limiting equipment height and maintaining adequate surfacing, combined with adult supervision, can greatly reduce the incidence and severity of playground injuries.”

Parents should be aware of and warn children about unacceptable play areas, such as garages, construction sites, abandoned buildings, railroad tracks, dumpsters, and waterfronts. These areas should be strictly off-limits. The National SAFE KIDS Campaign suggests following these tips to help ensure that your children are playing safely in your neighborhood:

  • Familiarize yourself with neighborhood play areas. Inspect playgrounds for rusted or broken equipment and dangerous surfaces such as concrete or asphalt. Supervise children while on play equipment.

  • Report any playground safety hazards to the organization responsible for the site (e.g., school, park authority, city council).

  • Ensure that children use age-appropriate playground equipment. Maintain separate play areas for children under age 5.

  • Remove hood and neck drawstrings from all children’s outerwear. Never allow children to wear necklaces, purses, scarves or clothing with drawstrings while on playgrounds.
For more information on playground safety or to order a copy of SAFE KIDS magazine with more tips for keeping kids safe, visit

The National SAFE KIDS Campaign is the first and only national nonprofit organization dedicated solely to the prevention of unintentional childhood injury - the number one killer of children ages 14 and under. The Campaign is made up of more than 300 state and local SAFE KIDS coalitions in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

How To...

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