Keep your family safe this summer by following
these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). For sun and
water safety tips, see this tip sheet. Please feel free to use them in any print or broadcast story,
with appropriate attribution of source.
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
Swing seats should be made of
soft materials such as rubber, plastic or canvas.
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
Make sure slides are cool to prevent
children's legs from getting burned.
Do not allow children to play
barefoot on the playground.
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.
A helmet protects your child
from serious injury, and should always be worn. And remember, wearing a
helmet at all times helps children develop the helmet habit.
Your child needs to wear
a helmet on every bike ride, no matter how short or how
close to home. Many injuries happen in driveways, on sidewalks, and on
bike paths, not just on streets. Children learn best by observing you. Set
the example: Whenever you ride, put on your helmet.
When purchasing a helmet, look
for a label or sticker that says the helmet meets the CPSC safety
A helmet should be worn so that
it is level on the head and covers the forehead, not tipped forward or
backwards. The strap should be securely fastened with about 2 fingers able
to fit between chin and strap. The helmet should be snug on the head, but
not overly tight. Skin should move with the helmet when moved side to
side. If needed, the helmet's sizing pads can help improve the fit.
Do not push your child to ride
a 2-wheeled bike without training wheels until he or she is ready.
Consider your child's coordination and desire to learn to ride. Stick with
coaster (foot) brakes until your child is older and more experienced for
hand brakes. Consider a balance bike with no pedals for young children to
learn riding skills.
Take your child with you when
you shop for the bike, so that he or she can try it out. The value of
fitted bike far
outweighs the value of surprising your child with a new one. Buy a bike
that is the right size, not one your child has to "grow into."
Oversized bikes are especially dangerous.
Your child should ride on the
right, facing the same direction as traffic, and should be taught to obey
all stop signs and other traffic control devices. Children should never
ride at night.
IN-LINE SKATING AND HEELYS SAFETY
All skateboarders and scooter-riders should wear protective gear;
helmets are particularly important for preventing and minimizing head injuries.
Riders should wear helmets that meet ASTM or other approved safety
standards, and that are specifically designed to reduce the effects of
Communities should continue to
develop skateboard parks, which are more likely to be monitored for safety
than ramps and jumps constructed by children at home.
While in-line skating or using
Heelys, only skate on designated paths or rinks and not in the street.
Most injuries occur due to
falls. Inexperienced riders should only ride as fast as they can
comfortably slow down and maintain control. They should practice falling
on grass or other soft surfaces. Before riding, skateboarders should
survey the riding terrain for obstacles such as potholes, rocks, or any
debris. Protective wrist, elbow and kneepads should be worn.
Children should never ride
skateboards or scooters in or near moving traffic.
Children should never skate
alone. Children under the age of eight should be closely supervised at all
© American Academy of