Mother and daughter playing at the playground

Your Guide to Playground Safety

Updated December 15, 2016 . AmFam Team

Keep your kiddos safe and happy by taking these steps to find the perfect playground. Then sit back and watch the memories in the making!

For a kid, there’s nothing quite like an afternoon at the playground. Their big imaginations and adventurous spirits get them into all sorts of fun shenanigans! But it’s important you’re looking out for their safety as they fight dragons, search for unicorns and play cops and robbers.

Here are some guidelines to follow as you seek out the perfect playground for your little ones:

Consider their age. Not all playground equipment is appropriate for all ages, so look for a park that’ll suit your kiddos. Got toddlers? Look for short slides and baby swings. Are your kids 5 years or older? They’ll love tire swings, jungle gyms and seesaws.

Scope it out for safety. Before you decide on a playground, pay close attention to the details. Look for potential hazards like rusted or broken equipment or dangerous surfaces. And scrutinize the materials used — the base surfaces should be made out of sand, pea gravel, wood chips or rubber, not concrete, dirt or asphalt.

Inquire about maintenance. Before you get your kids used to a specific playground, check to see if it’s regularly maintained by qualified personnel — a parks and recreation department, city council or school. These parks are likely to be cleaner and safer. Plus they’ll probably be around for the long-haul.

Teach safety. It’s important that your kids understand how to behave at the playground. Teach them the basics like not to push or shove others, and remind them of the rules of each piece of equipment — don’t stand on the swings, always face forward on the see-saws, watch for other kids before heading down the slide, etc. The more you teach them, the safer they’ll be!

Keep a watchful eye. Above all else, always supervise your kiddos. Even if the park is within walking distance from your home, remember to never send them alone. Go with and watch them play! You’ll be glad you got to witness the memories in the making.

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