Each year 200,000 children are seen in US emergency rooms for playground related injuries. Many of these injuries are due to falls on to hard surfaces. National Playground Safety Week is a time to focus on children’s outdoor play environments. It is a time to pledge to use good judgment when playing and a time for gratitude for all the adults who work tirelessly on maintaining our playgrounds.
Playgrounds don’t become safer all by themselves. They need people like you! So what can you do? Here are some suggestions from the National Program for Playground Safety:
- Design and distribute surveys to discover favorite and least favorite equipment, as well as recurring playground problems and injuries.
- Talk with children about the importance of playground safety.
- Create and hang posters in schools and community areas outlining S.A.F.E. playground practices.
- Complete playground equipment safety checks and evaluations.
- Challenge your school to an injury-free week on the playground.
- Host a guest speaker to discuss safety on the playground.
- Check out your local playgrounds. If there is hard surfacing, such as asphalt, concrete, dirt, or grass underneath play equipment, call the owner and politely voice your concern. Ask if there is anything you can do to help.
- Write to the editor of your hometown newspaper commenting on any playground safety issues in your local community. Give credit to those facilities with safe playgrounds as well.
- With children, make a maximum of five playground rules that they can remember and follow.
Playground Safety Week, at the end of April, is a reminder that a summer of fun begins with safety!
For more information on the web: www.PlaygroundSafety.org