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Allowing children to play in a city park or playground is considerably safer than letting a child play in the street, but not all city parks and playgrounds are as safe as they could possibly be. Children can and will get hurt in city parks and playgrounds. However, there are steps that parents and guardians can take to help protect children from accidents at a city park or playground. Below are five ways to help protect your children from accidents.
Parents should inspect the park or play area for seriously dangerous defects. Parents should check out the area where their child will be playing to make sure that there are no seriously dangerous defects that could harm the child. Are there large holes in the ground that a child could trip in? Is the playground equipment in relatively good shape? Is there soft ground covering in the area where the child will play? A parental inspection of the play area will give parents an idea of whether the play area is age-appropriate for their child and whether their child should even play in the park or play area in the first place.
Provide adult supervision. Parents can supervise their child’s play in a city park, which will go a long way towards protecting your child from accidents. Your child is a fun-loving kid who just wants to play and have fun. He or she is often distracted easily and does not have a good sense of speed, weight or what is risky behavior. Parents have a better understanding of structural integrity, identifying potential safety risks, and a knack for detecting danger where a child cannot. Supervised play allows a parent to put a stop to the child’s play if the child is in danger.
Only play in areas designed with safety in mind. Playgrounds and parks can be designed with safety as a top priority. These areas can be made safe by using soft materials, such as rubber mats or loose-fill surface covering, to cover surfaces, placing pieces of playground equipment a safe distance apart, and having no sharp edges or corners. Playground equipment should be durable and in good, working condition, with no sharp protrusions that children can get caught on (i.e., s-hooks, protruding bolts, or unfinished edges).
Educate your child about safety. If your child is old enough to understand the concept, it can be beneficial to educate your child about park and playground safety. Teach your child about:
The hazards of horseplay, pushing and shoving;
How to use playground equipment properly (i.e., seesaws, swings, merry go rounds, etc.);
Leaving backpacks, bikes and helmets in a safe place away from play areas so that they these items don’t pose a trip risk to other children; and
Exercising caution around wet or slippery playground equipment.
5. Remind children that animals in the park may not be safe. In a city park there are likely to be both wild animals and other people’s dogs. Children inherently love to pet and play with small fuzzy animals and dogs. But in a city park, playing with these animals may not be safe. City squirrels are bold, and can easily be tempted to approach a human if food is used as a lure. Yet city squirrels can carry diseases which could be transmitted to a child via a bite. Similarly, even a friendly dog belonging to someone else in the park could go from friend to foe in a minute’s time. Children should be warned about animal bites.
A child can be seriously injured while playing on unsafe or unstable playground equipment If your child has been injured while on a playground, please contact the playground injury lawyers at The Pearce Law Firm, P.C. Contact us either online or by calling (215) 600-1433 for a free initial consultation today.