If you are taking your children to a new playground, whether you are exploring your area or you have just moved to a new city or town, there are several things you should do to make sure it is a safe place to play. Here are some things to check before letting your children on the playground.
Before you allow your children to roam freely on the playground, it is imperative that you do an inspection of all playground equipment, as well as the sand or gravel, in order to make sure that there is nothing dangerous or harmful. Be sure to check the monkey bars for razor blades, which is an unfortunate trend that has been occurring on many playgrounds, due to the spread of it on social media. It is also a good idea to go on social media websites, such as Facebook or NextDoor, to see if there have been any incidents at the playground that you want to take your children to.
Plan for Bad Weather
If you live somewhere that is known for weather changing rather quickly, then it is a good idea to always have supplies for when it changes. For example, if you reside in the Pacific Northwest, then you should always bring kids rain boots, raincoats, or ponchos with you to the playground to avoid your children getting wet and cold while they are playing. You should also bring an umbrella and small towels to dry off. Always make sure to pack an extra coat or cardigan in case the temperature drops suddenly. Be sure that all of you will stay safe and dry, no matter what the weather is like when you go to the playground.
Watch Them at All Times
Because of the rise in child abductions and the prevalence of people knowing others' locations on the internet, it is more important than ever to keep an eye on your children the entire time you are at the park. Before you leave to go to the park, be sure to use the bathroom and take care of any tasks or errands you need to do so that you do not have to leave your children for any amount of time. If possible, bring another trusted adult along with you, such as a friend or even your spouse, that can watch your children in case of emergencies where you may have to leave suddenly.
Befriend Other Parents
One way to feel safe and secure on the playground or at the local park is to make other parent friends. This is beneficial for many reasons, one of which is that you will have people who will be able to watch your child if you have to use the bathroom or do something with another one of your children that requires attention. Additionally, you will also have an opportunity to form friendships that result in group playdates and opportunities to see other adults that are in the same situation that you are.
Bring Sunblock and Snacks
Sunblock is an essential item to bring in your diaper bag or stroller when you visit the playground, especially during the spring or summer months. Be sure to apply it to your child before they go to play, and periodically every couple of hours if they continue to play in direct sunlight. You should also bring snacks that are not messy and do not require utensils, such as crackers, cereal, or granola bars so that you do not have to take your children home in the middle of their playdate.
Taking your child to the park should be a fun and social experience. You should feel safe and secure when allowing your child to play at a new playground. By using these tips, you will be able to feel confident that your child can have a good time playing with new friends, and you can relax and watch them be happy.