The playground is the place where happy memories and childhood friendships are created. Unfortunately, the playground is also a place which is a high risk place for injuries for children of all age groups. This does not have to be so if proper precaution and care is taken to prevent these injuries. If the inevitable happens prompt care can minimize any harm and long term effects of playground injuries.
How do you prevent playground injuries?
According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDE), the most common playground injuries among children are fractures, concussions, dislocations and internal injuries. Children will be children and they cannot be expected to be careful while playing. More often than not they get carried away with the thrill and joy of carefree play. But here are some things that adults can do to prevent playground injuries.
Make sure the play structure is age appropriate
Children should never be allowed to play on equipment that are not suitable for their age level. Paying attention to the height of the slides and climbers and making sure the children are monitored when they attempt to climb these equipments will go a long way in preventing playground injuries.
Ongoing maintenance of play equipment
Ongoing maintenance of the playground structures and equipment is a must to prevent injuries and this must be monitored by the recreation department of the city under which the playground falls. Improper maintenance is the major reason for frequent falls and injuries which is especially true in low income neighborhoods where maintenance is neglected due to low budgets.
Play supervision by adults
Children must always be under supervision of an adult while at the playground. There is no alternative to this very important rule.
Reinforce safety play rules
Reinforcing the playground safety rules to the kids before and after play is needed to incorporate safe playing rules among the kids while playing. Very often children get carried away and push each other around causing dangerous accidents from falls from high equipment. Rules such as no pushing and pulling, waiting for turns, no jumping off age inappropriate heights are some of the rules that can keep the children safe. Steering clear of moving swings and rotating tire equipment is very important to prevent concussions and fractures.
Prevent over exposure to the sun
While exposure to the sun is important for children to make strong bones, the overexposure can cause sunburns and fainting spells due to overheating of their tiny bodies. Limiting the time in the sun can prevent these episodes of overheating and nasty sunburns. Always apply sunscreen with SPF 30 and above and reapply every half hour for maximum protection.
Treating playground injuries
In case of accidents or injuries at the playground, acting quickly is the key to preventing long term damage and injuries.
Check for breathing
The first thing to do is to always check if the child is breathing and is conscious of his or her surroundings. If it is a minor scrape or bump, the child may be more scared than hurt and will need lots of Tender Loving Care (TLC).
Do not move the child
In case of injury, try to keep the child as still as possible to prevent any spinal injuries till it is confirmed that the child is unharmed.
Make sure there are no broken bones
Next, check the child for any broken bones or fractures that need to be stabilized. In case of broken bones or fractures, a makeshift splint should be made to prevent further damage to the bone. This can be done by breaking off twigs or branches from nearby trees and tied around the affected limb to prevent bending at the joint.
Call For Medical Help
When in doubt, call for professional medical assistance especially if the child is not breathing or has lost consciousness. Remain by the side of the child and be prepared to give a brief but complete recount of what happened.
So, the best way to prevent and treat playground injuries on the playground is to practice prevention and precaution and by reinforcing safety rules in children while playing.
Ralph Coleman is an experienced writer who writes informative articles for healthcare professionals aspiring to get certified or recertified in ACLS and PALS courses.