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Playground risks all parents should know

  • Published
  • By Raymond Shupe
  • 43rd Airlift Wing Safety Office
Editor's Note: In alliance with the 101 Critical Days of Summer, the 43rd Airlift Wing Safety Office will highlight different areas focusing on increased safety awareness, providing tips throughout the summer.

Few places rival a playground for childhood fun, excitement, and the chance to learn lifelong social skills. Many children living in base housing have access to playgrounds right out their back door, and, unless the weather is bad, they often spend as much time playing outside as in the house.

Most playgrounds on and off base are built with the most current safety considerations in mind, but even so, accidents can occur. Sometimes the risks don't appear as obvious as those associated with swimming or biking; but they're there, and when parents know what to look for, they're easy to spot.

The U.S. Consumer Safety Commission developed the flowing tips all parents can use to checkout their children's playground.
U.S. Consumer Safety's Top Playground Safety Tips
· Playground surfacing material should be 12-inches deep and extend 6-feet in all directions around equipment.
· Look for playgrounds with shredded rubber, mulch, wood chips or sand under the play areas. Grass and soil are not good surfaces.
· Make sure playground equipment is inspected frequently and kept in good repair. If it's not, report this to the local parks and recreations office.
· Remove hood and neck drawstrings from children's clothing and outerwear and don't let children wear helmets, necklaces, purses or scarves on the playground.
· Do not allow children to engage in pushing, shoving or crowding around playground equipment.
· Keep toddlers under age 5 in a separate play area, away from equipment designed for older children.
· Actively supervise children on a playground. Just being in the same area isn't good enough - they need undivided attention while playing on or around the equipment.
For more information on safety, call the Pope Safety Office at 394-8390.

For more information on playground safety, visit the Safe Kids USA Web site at
http://www.safekids.org/safety-basics/safety-spotlight/playground-safety/