Safety in the Park

October 27, 2016

Playing in the park is a source of enjoyment and education for children. Watching the pure joy on a child’s face as they zoom down a slide or climb up a jungle gym is a fantastic way to spend a couple of hours. However fantastic and fun a playground is, there are certain dangers that every parent should be on the lookout for. Here are five safety tips that every parent should follow every single time they enter a playground with their children.

Be mindful of hoodies and drawstrings

Although your child may love their new hoodie, it could prove to be a danger in a park setting. Hoods from a sweater can get caught on equipment and cause strangulation. Drawstrings also have the ability to get caught in tight areas causing a child to become stuck or even injured. In the winter months, the same risks may apply with scarves. Teach your children to be aware of their hoods and the potential dangers they may cause on a playground.

Watch for things going into mouths

When younger children play at a playground, it is incredibly important to always watch what they put in their mouths. Toddlers are still keen to put things in their mouths and if they happen to find a discarded pill or dangerous object on a playground it’s very likely it will end up in their mouths. Since parks are open to the public you cannot control what other people leave behind. Be constantly mindful of your toddler and don’t let them put anything they find in their mouths.

Beware of strangers

The age old saying of “do not talk to strangers” should be taught to every child who plays in a park. As kids get older, they will be trusted to go to the park without adult supervision and it is at this age that children should be aware of potential dangers with talking to strangers. Even though we like to think of our neighbourhoods as safe there are predators out there and it is a very real problem. Educate your children at a young age and hopefully they will heed your warnings.

Dress in bright colours

There is no better way to spot your child on a playground then to dress them in bright neon colours. Invest in a few outfits that are bright yellow or pink and designate them as your “park outfits.” It’ll be easy to keep an eye on your kids as they play in a sea of other children.

Teach proper equipment use

Educate your children on how to properly use the equipment at the park. Teach them that swings should not be used if they are broken, and to be mindful of plastic slides in the heat of summer as they can burn the surface of your skin. It’s also important to remind your children to be cautious after a rainfall as the equipment can become slippery and there is increased risk of falling.

Rules and structure may not be the first things you think of when you imagine going to a park; but your children need to know at an early age how to play safe!

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