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One of the best ways to encourage your kids to spend time outside is by building them a playground. These playgrounds give them a place to hang out and it provides them with something to look forward to when they head outside. However, you might face difficulty trying to make sure these playgrounds stay safe for your kids. To give you a hand, read ahead to consider some ways to make playgrounds safer for kids.
Go to the park as a family. While there, you can make sure everyone is being safe by supervising play and have a little fun too! Getting outside and staying active is just as important for parents.
Much like real estate, you must think about location when planning out your playground. While you should obviously build it in a proper clearing, you should strive to assemble the playground somewhere with shade. Sun exposure can often heat up your playground and make metallic surfaces hot to the touch. To avoid burns, you’ll want adequate shade. If you can’t get any shade, consider building your playground using substitutes for metal or plastics, as plastic may melt.
Not all playgrounds are created equal. Many modern playgrounds are designed to have lower height equipment and softer surfaces beneath, like mulch or rubber padding, which absorbs the impact of falls. Try to keep outdoor playtime in these safer spaces. Also, look for playgrounds that have separate equipment for older and younger children
Slides are for kids only
Well-meaning parents might think it’s safer to go down the slide with toddlers on your lap; unfortunately, this is a common source of fractures in young children. When little ones go down the slide alone, they only have their own body weight to contend with. If they go down the slide with a parent and catch their foot on the side, the full force of the parent’s weight is behind them now too. So one at a time down the slide!
This doesn’t just mean dressing appropriately for the weather. Avoid drawstrings and loose clothing that could catch on playground equipment and cause falls or other injuries. And always make sure shoes laces are tied.
You must commit to taking care of your playground equipment, as playgrounds often become rife with germs and bacteria. Ensuring proper cleanliness is one of the most important ways to make playgrounds safer for kids. Playgrounds can also experience mold and fungus growth that could pose a hazard. To avoid this, you’ll want to sanitize and disinfect the playground equipment. The CDC recommends using a bleach solution of five tablespoons before thoroughly scrubbing playground surfaces with soap and water. Once you finish, wipe the playground down with a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water, let it sit for 5 minutes, and then spray it down once more.
Gravity is often the biggest hazard, as injuries from falls are a common fact of life. To prevent serious injuries when your kids do take a spill, look into playground surfacing material to provide a softer cushion than the solid ground. These surfacing materials feature a low cost if you choose an option like wood chips. Even materials as simple as wood chips provide some cushioning that can prevent major injuries.