Playgrounds are a fantastic way for your child to have some fun, get some exercise, and to interact with their peers, but it’s also fairly easy for children to get hurt. If you’re trying to set some ground rules for your child when it comes to the playground, here are the things that will keep them safe, happy, and healthy when they’re having fun.
Tip 1: Supervision Is Required
Most playgrounds are located in communal areas. Since it’s a public area, it’s important that there is constant supervision from an adult. Since it can be taxing on an adult, it’s one of the reasons so many parents invest in a private playground for their kids.
Scheduling a playdate with friends is a mutually beneficial choice as your child gets to play with their friends while you get to take turns supervising the kids at the park. Another option is hiring a babysitter to take them to the park, however, you must be careful of who you trust. Not every parent you meet is going to be as focused as you’d hope, so it’s best to at least keep a casual eye on your child.
Tip 2: Know the Area
There’s a lot going on in parks. While park management does their best to plan for safety and security, trees and park equipment can block your view. Once you become familiar with the park, you will better understand the areas where danger may lurk. Bring along a portable chair or sit on a nearby bench to watch your child. If you have several children, then you should hang out in a central area or walk around the playground to supervise each of them. You can also teach them the buddy system, a system where they ‘partner up’ in groups of two or more. Never let them play alone where you don’t have a clear view of them.
Tip 3: Inspect the Playground
Inspect the playground for problems that pose a danger, including broken glass in the sand, rocks, or underneath the playground equipment. Some playgrounds are an ideal location for drug activity, so you should look for any discarded paraphernalia that can harm a child. Tell your child to not pick up anything off the ground and if they see something to immediately notify an adult.
Tip 4: Treat Other Children with Respect
It is important for your children to treat the other children at the park with respect. Your child shouldn't try to push other children who are using the slides, monkey bars, or other playground equipment. Let them know they have to take turns on the slides and share the playground with others. If they choose to act irresponsibly or unfairly, then you should not let them play at the playground until they learn how to behave themselves at the park. This will ensure that they treat others with kindness and respect.
Tip 5: Use the Playground Equipment Properly
Your local playground will likely have a sign with the rules listed. These regulations are designed for preventing an injury or broken equipment. Children shouldn't climb to the top of a swing set or anything else that is not meant to be climbed. They also shouldn't climb anything that is too tall that will result in injuries in the event they fall.
Tip 6: Bring Along a First-aid Kit
Make sure to have a first-aid kit in your vehicle, stroller, or backpack so that you can care for a child's scraped knee or insect bite immediately. It is a good idea to take a class in emergency first-aid procedures so that you can cope with serious issues that may occur.
Tip 7: Skin Protection
You should apply sunscreen to your child's skin several times while they are playing at the park. In addition, you may need to have an insect repellent that is formulated for children to prevent mosquito bites. Protect your child’s eyes with sunglasses or a hat with a wide brim.
Tip 8: Stay Away from Strangers
Before visiting the park, you must explain the dangers of talking to strangers. If your children stay near you, then they are less likely to have a stranger approach them. When you have a problem with inappropriate behavior from an adult or another child at the park, you should leave immediately and contact the police.