Parents Can Be Proactive in
Creating a Safe Play Environment on Playgrounds
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
dont 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
more information on playground safety or to order a copy
of SAFE KIDS magazine with more tips for keeping kids
safe, visit www.safekids.org.
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.
any playground safety hazards to the organization
responsible for the site (e.g., school, park authority,
that children use age-appropriate playground equipment.
Maintain separate play areas for children under age
hood and neck drawstrings from all childrens
outerwear. Never allow children to wear necklaces,
purses, scarves or clothing with drawstrings while
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.