Monday, April 27, 2009

Keep Your Child Safe on the Playground

Doctors treat more than 200,000 children in emergency rooms every year for accidents on the playground. Most of the children who are hurt are under age 14 and with the weather nice and warm, our little ones are going to want to be out for a swinging time.

Pediatricians want to remind us what we can expect if we take our eyes off our children and forget to keep them safe. Here's what Dr. Kimberly Giuliano, Pediatrician, says they see in emergency rooms. "Minor injuries, cuts and scrapes, those kind of things. We get things that are a little more serious, broken bones and in very, very severe circumstances, even death from what seemed to be just a routine playing activity."

Doctors say adult supervision is the easiest way to prevent an injury. Keep your child in full view in the playground, especially if the child is under five. Parents should keep an eye out for unsafe surfaces. Playground safety surfaces like wood chips, bark mulch, wood fibers, sand, pea gravel, shredded tires and rubber mats can help cushion falls. Avoid concrete, grass and dirt surfaces, they're too hard. A fall of ten inches onto concrete has the same impact as falling several feet into mulch.

Look over the playground equipment before your child climbs all over it. Make sure everything is anchored to the ground, there's nothing loose or rusting or missing.
If your child falls, don't hesitate to have a physician check out any injury. It is better to be cautious than to be sorry for letting, what seemed like a minor injury, develop into something more serious or even life-threatening.

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