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5 Tips for Playground Safety

Association of Texas Professional Educators
Association of Texas Professional Educators

Date Posted: 4/24/2023

Playgrounds are an important part of both schools and communities as they provide opportunities for children to get exercise and play. While playgrounds are built with safety in mind, there are still some things to remember to keep you and your children safe.

Playground Injuries
The most common risk to children on the playground is injuries. Even though those who build playgrounds do their best to make them as safe as possible, injuries are not always avoidable. It is important to know how to treat different injuries when out on the playground and be prepared to do so. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the most common childhood playground injuries include:
  • Cuts
  • Blisters
  • Split lips
  • Black eyes
  • Friction burns
  • Broken bones
  • Splinters
  • Bloody noses
  • Sprains
  • Knocked-out teeth
  • Head injuries
Learn how to treat these common injuries in this Cleveland Clinic article. Treatment for the most common injury—cuts—consists of cleaning the area and applying bandages. When an injury is severe, seek medical attention right away. For more mild injuries such as cuts, blisters, and splinters, research home remedies to help speed up the healing process.

Heat Stroke
In Texas, it is especially important to watch for signs of heat stroke. For more details, take a look back at this ATPE blog. The most common heat-related illnesses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are:
  • Heat rash
  • Sunburn
  • Heat cramp
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Heat stroke
The most severe on this list is heat stroke. Symptoms include a fever of 103 degrees or higher, redness, fast heartbeat, headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, and loss of consciousness. If these symptoms occur on the playground, it is important to call 911 immediately. When help arrives, move the affected person into a cooler place, use cool cloths, and do not give the person anything to drink.

Criminal Activity
Criminal activity can occur on the playground, even when there is a large group of people in the area. It is important to always keep an eye on your child and your surroundings and to remind children the usual stranger-danger rules apply. When at the playground, remember to hide any belongings that you leave in your vehicle because criminals could be looking to break in while you are away. Be sure to report any suspicious activity to the respective owner of the playground, such as a school or the city/community.

In playgrounds, children come in contact with many surfaces where germs, including bacteria, fungi or viruses, can spread. Washing hands is always important, but so is keeping up with tetanus shots—especially when visiting older playgrounds. If you or your child is sick, it is best to avoid playgrounds altogether to prevent spreading germs to other children.

Playground Equipment
Finally, it is also important to check playground equipment to ensure it is properly maintained for safety. Much like gym equipment, playground equipment can fail or be in an unsafe condition for play. Always make sure to check all equipment beforehand to help prevent injuries. This also includes checking the ground surrounding equipment for anything harmful to your child, such as needles and glass. If there is anything amiss, it should be reported as soon as possible to prevent others from being hurt.

Stay safe and have fun on the playgrounds!