Teaching Children Playground Safety
When you head out to the playground, take charge of playground safety by being proactive. Here are some tips that can help create a safe and enjoyable environment.
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Everyone wants to have fun and be safe at the playground. But order to avoid accidents adults must not only supervise little ones but provide all kids with the proper tools for playing safely.
One way to empower kids is to demonstrate safe practices for the use of playground equipment.
Here are a few steps to take to show kids how to play safely.
1. Walk at a safe distance around the swings when they are in use. Lead the children through a practice route, from one piece of equipment to another.
2. Sit properly on the swing and slide, or have a child demonstrate under your guidance. Then have the children imitate your example.
3. Grasp climbing apparatus with both hands. This also applies to swing ropes and seesaw handles.
4. Play on equipment you can reach. Public playgrounds may have options available other than the apparatus found at a child care center. Set limits.
5. Separate playground area into spaces according to activities. Designate areas for playing tag, throwing balls or flying kites that are a safe distance from playground equipment.
6. Take turns. The playground presents opportunities for sharing (is someone is waiting for a swing?) as well as for learning to wait for your turn.
You can reinforce rules now and then with a few simple instructions:
- hold onto handrails with both hands
- make sure the bottom of the slide is clear before you slide down
- slide down feet first
- sit, don’t stand, on the swing seat and seesaw
- do not walk behind swings in use
- stay clear of the child above you on climbing equipment
Make sure kids are not wearing loose clothing, belts, scarves, etc. on playground equipment.
And last, but not least, wash hands before enjoying snacks.
Outdoor play has many benefits for kids as well as grownups!
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Play safely, and have fun at the playground today!