If you have children, you know it is normal for them to ask to go to the playground. Most kids want to go out, meet other children, and have fun outdoors. While going to the playground is good for kids, there are a few things you should keep in mind in order to keep them safe and healthy. Check out these suggestions so you can always feel confident about how well your children are doing when you're at the playground together.
Help Your Child Understand How to Avoid Strangers
When taking your child to the playground, chances are they are going to play with kids they have never met before. That is generally fine with most parents since it allows children the chance to have fun and make new friends in a child-friendly setting. However, adult strangers can also lurk in playgrounds. Make sure you talk with your child about understanding who strangers are, and what they can do to avoid them. Tell them it is okay to leave, run away, or get help if they ever feel uncomfortable because of an interaction with a stranger.
Make Sure They Stay Hydrated
Playing outdoors in the hot sun can cause children to get dehydrated easily. Many children get so engrossed in their play that they forget to stop and take a drink. Err on the side of caution, and always bring drinks with you every time you and your children go to the playground. Water is always a good drink to keep on hand, but so are sports drinks, since these can replace electrolytes. Avoid soda, or any type of drinks that have caffeine, since these are more likely to make your child feel thirsty very soon after having them.
Protect Them From the Sun
It's not uncommon for children to easily get sunburn when they are visiting the playground. Just like with forgetting to drink water, they won't think about how hot it is, and by the time they come back home, they will have sunburn. Make sure you apply sunscreen with a strong SPF, such as SPF 30 or more. It can be helpful to take sunscreen with you, and reapply it again after a few hours or so. Look for brands that are child-friendly and don't come off even when playing in water or sweating. This can help you feel confident that your child will be protected for longer.
Avoid Playgrounds That Are Too Old or Broken
Although it is always fun to go to a new playground, you want to avoid those that are old or otherwise broken down. Take a look at the equipment and see if it looks safe. Do you notice broken pieces, anything that is missing, or overly worn playground equipment? Another factor to consider is mold. Although there are some helpful mold remediation solutions, some older playgrounds might not have taken care of this problem. If the playground your child wants to visit looks in disrepair, consider going someplace that is safer for everyone's benefit.
Taking your child to the playground is something every parent should do to make sure their kids are getting out and having fun. But, it is necessary to teach them how to take care of themselves when playing. Make sure you let them know how to watch for certain types of strangers, particularly adults, and what they can do if they find themselves in uncomfortable situations. Keep your kids hydrated and make them take water breaks when they are out playing. Wearing sunscreen and other forms of sun protection is just as important for children of all ages.
Finally, assess the playground your child wants to go to, and make sure it is not too worn down or otherwise broken. Keeping these tips in mind can make it easier for you and your child to have a good time no matter how often you go out to the playground.