Safe play at the playground

August 9, 2012

Children and Teens, Happiness

Ensure your children’s safety in their favorite play places with these rules.

by Heather Demeritte — 

It’s summertime, which likely means your children will want to visit their favorite playground. Will they head to the new playground with the shiny slide? Or will it be the older one in your neighborhood? All are fun places to play, until someone gets hurt. By following the six tips below, you can ensure your children’s safety in their summer play places.

1. Remind your children to always go with a grown-up. Explain to them that grown-ups are there to help when they are unable to safely get down from high places and to assist them if they get hurt. And, of course, grown-ups are also there to play.

2. Spot-check the playground area. Either you or another responsible adult need to check for broken glass, whether the equipment is worn, or if the area is covered with trash or graffiti.

3. Explain which equipment is appropriate for different age groups. Some will be safe for toddlers, while others are meant for older kids.

4. Even if your children are old enough to use the big equipment, explain to them how to use it properly. Tell them not to climb higher than what feels comfortable, and not to climb outside of or on top of equipment. They should not go down a slide headfirst. Swings may be a fun challenge to see how high they can go or to jump from, but remind them of the dangers of swinging too high and jumping off.

5. Tell them to use their heads when they play. When they feel there are too many kids on the equipment, or if someone is pushing too hard or goofing around too much, tell them to leave the equipment and only return when it is safe again.

6. And finally, remind your children to have fun.


Heather Demeritte is employed as a fitness instructor and dance teacher at Scottsdale Community College, as well as various fitness centers in Scottsdale, Ariz. She is certified by the American Council of Exercise with a degree in early childhood development and works helping youths learn fun ways to be fit. 480-310-5854 or

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 27, Number 3, June/July 2008.

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