National Playground Safety Week
When you are a kid, playgrounds are the closest thing to heaven. They provide a space to make friends, get some exercise and spread our imaginations.
However, playgrounds can also pose a risk for young ones, which is why National Playground Safety Week exists. While we may never prevent all playground accidents, knowing how to improve their safety can help safeguard many children.
Playground Accident Facts
Every year emergency rooms treat more than 200,000 children under the age of 14 for playground-related injuries.
Most of the injuries treated in the ER (56%) are fractures, contusions, and abrasions. However, around 20,000 children brought to the ER suffered a traumatic brain injury, including a concussion.
Traumatic brain injuries are a genuine concern, especially when considering that the overall rate of playground-related TBIs shows a significant increase in recent years.
Playground-related accidents can happen to any child regardless of age or gender. However, statistically, some kids are at a higher risk of sustaining an injury while playing in a playground.
- 55% of ER treated injuries were boys, while 45% were girls
- The age group most likely to suffer an injury that requires emergency attention is children between the ages of 5 and 9
Playground Safety Tips
Playgrounds can’t become safer by themselves. They need the cooperation of everyone involved in their maintenance and usage to ensure fewer kids get hurt while playing.
You can help protect your child by:
- Supervising Children While They Play: You should never leave small children to play unsupervised at a playground. Even older children need supervision, especially when using climbing equipment.
- Learn How to Use Playground Equipment Correctly: Make sure you read all the instructions and safety precautions posted at the playground before using any equipment. Not all attractions are suited for your child’s age, height, or weight.
- Examine the Equipment Before Your Children Use It: Not all playgrounds receive the maintenance they require, and this can lead to faulty, rusty, or broken equipment, which can lead to serious injury.
- Make Sure Your Kids have the Proper Clothing: Before you let your kids go down the slide or run around on the park grounds, check for things like drawstrings that can get caught on the rides and untied shoes. Also, make sure to remove any neckless, purses, or backpacks.
- Mind the Weather: During the hot summer days, always make sure to test the temperature on slides, monkey bars, and other playground equipment to prevent burns. Additionally, don’t let kids play if the grounds are too wet or muddy, as they can easily fall and hurt themselves.
- Keeping a Proper Distance: Teach your children never to walk in front or back of swings or stand in front of slides to prevent being knocked down.
- Hygiene: To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, ask children to wash their hands before and after touching any equipment. It’s also important to try and maintain physical distance from other children.
When Does a Playground Injury Need Emergency Attention?
Not all playground injuries warrant a trip to the ER. However, you should rush to the nearest Altus Emergency Center if your child presents any of the following symptoms:
- They hit their head and lost consciousness
- If after a fall they feel nauseous, start vomiting, or have a headache
- If their behavior seems out of place, including being unusually irritable or lethargic
- If you notice swelling or deformity at the injured site
- If you suspect they broke a bone
- They have a deep cut that may require stitches
- If a rusty object caused their injury
All Altus Emergency Centers have specialized pediatric examining rooms designed to calm and reassure children and their parents. Our examining rooms also have size-appropriate equipment for your child’s comfort.
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