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Playground Safety Tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics

5/30/2019

Keep your family safe this summer by following these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).  Please feel free to use them in any print or broadcast story, with appropriate attribution of source.

PLAYGROUND SAFETY 

  • The playground should have safety-tested mats or loose-fill materials (shredded rubber, sand, wood chips, or bark) maintained to a depth of at least 9 inches (6 inches for shredded rubber). The protective surface should be installed at least 6 feet (more for swings and slides) in all directions from the equipment.

  • Equipment should be carefully maintained. Open "S" hooks or protruding bolt ends can be hazardous.

  • Swing seats should be made of soft materials such as rubber, plastic or canvas.

  • Teach children to give swings a wide berth and never stand behind or play around swings when in use.

  • Make sure children cannot reach any moving parts that might pinch or trap any body part.

  • Never attach—or allow children to attach—ropes, jump ropes, leashes, or similar items to play equipment; children can strangle on these.  If you see something tied to the playground, remove it or call the playground operator to remove it.

  • Make sure your children remove helmets and anything looped around their necks.

  • Metal, rubber and plastic products can get very hot in the summer, especially under direct sun. 

  • Make sure slides are cool to prevent children's legs from getting burned.

  • Do not allow children to play barefoot on the playground.

  • Poles for ziplines should be securely mounted in the ground. Make sure children are strong enough to hold on until they can safely reach the other end.

  • Parents should supervise children on play equipment.

  • Parents should never purchase a home trampoline or allow children to use a home trampoline because of the risk of serious injury even when supervised.

  • Surrounding trampoline netting offers a false sense of security and does not prevent many trampoline-related injuries. Most injuries happen on the trampoline, not from falling off.

  • If children are jumping on a trampoline, they should be supervised by a responsible adult, and only one child should be on the trampoline at a time; 75% of trampoline injuries occur when more than one person is jumping at a time.

  • Homeowners should verify that their insurance policies cover trampoline-related claims. Coverage is highly variable and a rider may need to be obtained.

@2019 American Academy of Pediatrics