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Playground safety: What parents need to know

The warmer weather is calling us outdoors. As children run off to play on the playground or backyard playsets, we have a few safety tips for playground injury prevention.

Falls are the most common type of playground injury, accounting for more than 75 percent of all playground-related injuries. Lack of supervision or improper supervision is associated with approximately 45 percent of playground-related injuries.

PLAY it safe to avoid injury

Following these guidelines will offer hours of safe, playground fun. Remember “PLAY” it safe when you are on the playground.

“P” is for Play appropriately.

  • Never push or roughhouse while on jungle gyms, slides, swings and other equipment.
  • Always slide feet first, avoid climbing outside of railings and barriers, and stay seated on swings.
  • Leave bikes, backpacks, and bags away from the playground equipment so no one trips over them.
  • Ensure that children use age appropriate playground equipment.

“L” is for Loose clothing or untied shoelaces. A hazard — at any age.

  • If you see a child with their shoes untied, help them out with a double knot. If you have young kids at home who cannot tie shoes, the best shoes for playing outdoors may be well-fitting shoes with elastic or Velcro closure.
  • Loose clothing or strings — like drawstrings on sweatshirt hoods — can also present an accidental strangulation hazard and could easily get caught on playground sets.

“A” is for Active adult supervision.

  • Supervision is the best way to keep children safe and prevent injuries. Always supervise your child at the park, playground or in your backyard.
  • Check that the equipment is safe before your children start to play on it.
  • Be sure nothing is broken and no sharp objects stick out.

“Y” is for Your playground surfaces.

  • Safer surfaces include mulch, pea gravel and shredded rubber.
  • Avoid asphalt, concrete, grass and soil surfaces.
  • Make sure that playground equipment is dry to avoid slipping.
  • Check for any hazards.

Many injuries that occur on the playground are preventable. Parents can visit kohlssafeandhealthy.com and download our “Keep Spriggy Safe” mobile app to learn more about outdoor safety for their kids.