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Keep kids safe on the playground

Most school-related injuries for children ages 5 to 14 happen on the playground. As schools across the country close for the summer, kids have more time to play – and more time to get injured.

Safe Kids Oregon has tips for parents and caregivers to help children stay safe on the playground.

  1. Avoid playgrounds with asphalt, concrete, grass or dirt surfaces under the equipment. 90% of the most severe playground equipment-related injuries, typically head injuries and fractures, are from falls. A fall onto a shock-absorbing surface – like sand, pea gravel, wood chips, mulch or shredded rubber – is less likely to cause a serious injury.
  2. For a child under age 5, there should be a separate play area. Young children who play on equipment designed for older kids have an increased risk of injury.
  3. Always supervise children using playground equipment. Stay where you can see and hear them. Lack of supervision is associated with 40% of playground injuries. Of course, parental presence can’t prevent every injury – see A Surprising Risk for Toddlers on Playground Slides.
  4. Teach children proper playground behavior: no pushing, shoving or crowding.
  5. Remove any hood and neck drawstrings from all children’s clothing. Strangulation accounts for nearly half of all playground equipment-related deaths.
Get  up-to-date information and tips on child safety from your local Safe Kids organization – www.safekids.org
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