Elizabeth Adams

Recognizing Potential Risks of Playgrounds Can Prevent Childhood Injuries

Published: May 6, 2014

This column first appeared in the May 4 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader. 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 6, 2014) -- With summer now in sight, children of all ages are flocking to playgrounds at school, at the park or in the backyard. The fun and freedom of the outdoors also comes with multiple dangers that can occur on playgrounds. Every year, UK HealthCare emergency department doctors see playground injuries in children caused by falls, entanglement and entrapment, and a lack of adult supervision. Safe Kids Fayette County and Kentucky Children's Hospital recommend the following measures and precautions to ensure a safe and active summer for all children.

 

Entanglement/Entrapment

Entanglement and entrapment in playground equipment are two dangers that are easily prevented by parents or caregivers. Still, strangulation caused by entanglement and entrapment accounts for 56 percent of playground deaths.

 

To prevent entanglement, consider the design and structure of the playground and make sure your child is wearing appropriate play clothes. Clothing with strings or loose pieces are not appropriate for any type of playground structure. Be aware of playground equipment that could cause entanglement, such as hanging ropes. Also be attentive to slates or any siding that is wide enough for a child to stick their hands, feet or head through to prevent entrapment within in the structure.

 

Falling

When a playground contains high surfaces and structures without proper railings, children are at risk of dangerous falls. According to Safe Kids, 80 percent of playground injuries are associated with falling, many of which impact the head or the brain. Check to make sure the playground your child is using is age appropriate. Also, with home playgrounds, protective surfaces are vital to preventing injuries from falling, so use pea gravel, sand or mulch as the floor of your play area. Sand, dirt and grass are not adequate protective surfaces.

 

Adult Oversight

With a few precautionary steps at the start of the outdoor season, parents can reduce the risk of playground injuries. First, inspect your play area, whether it is private or public, for debris, loose bolts or nails, or any other sharp objects that could harm a child. Supervision is essential to preventing injuries. Make sure an adult is observing the playground while children are present to hinder any bullying, pushing and shoving, or any actions that may result in injuries. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Parents must stay committed to ensuring the environment is safe throughout the play period.

 

Conversations with your Babysitter/Caregivers

It's important for parents relying on a summertime babysitter to have a conversation about their child’s safety at the playground. Inform the caregiver about what behaviors and activities are allowed and the importance of constant supervision. Taking these small measures can ensure your child’s well-being on playground when you're not present. We want our kids to be active and enjoy the wonders of exploring, and making sure your child’s playground environment is safe will guarantee fun through the summer.

 

For more safety tips for you children, visit http://ukhealthcare.uky.edu/safekids/.

 

Sherri Hannan is the director of Safe Kids Fayette County at Kentucky Children's Hospital. 

hannan_sherri.jpg
September
 
 
 
 
1
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
LGBTQ* and Friends Employee Picnic
Thu
2
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Fri
3
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Sat
4
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Sun
5
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Labor Day - Academic Holiday
Mon
6
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: EXPRESSIONS
Tue
7
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: MEDITATION
UK Women's Club Volleyball - Open Gym
From The Streets to The Stage With Monti Washington
Wed
8
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: YOGA
#IAMACCEPTANCE Let's Talk Mental Health with Hakeem Rahim
Thu
9
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
2016 New Chinese Students Welcome Party
Accounting Internship & Career Fair
Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Suicide Prevention Training
Fri
10
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Sat
11
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Whipping In The Kitchen
Sun
12
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Mon
13
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: EXPRESSIONS
UKWC Welcome Coffee
Tue
14
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Last Day to Drop a Course Without Appearing on Transcript
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: MEDITATION
Greek Park Pictures
Wed
15
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: YOGA
Thu
16
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
A Day of Rising Strong
Fri
17
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Sat
18
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Sun
19
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Mon
20
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
UK Women's Forum Board Meeting
UK Elder Care Lunch & Learn - Best Friends Approach to Dementia Care
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: EXPRESSIONS
Cuban Heritage Festival
Tue
21
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Last Day to Withdraw to Receive 50% Refund
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: MEDITATION
Horticulture Club Farm Market Sale
Wed
22
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: YOGA
TGIT with SAB
Thu
23
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Fri
24
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Sat
25
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Film Screening of "The Fly Room"
Sun
26
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Film Screening of "The Fly Room"
Let's Talk!
Empower: People of Color Support Group
Film Screening of "The Fly Room"
Mon
27
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
FIFA Tournament
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: EXPRESSIONS
UK Engineering and Computer Science Career Fair
Banned Books--A short history
Tue
28
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
FIFA Tournament
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: MEDITATION
Horticulture Club Farm Market Sale
Cats Got The Vote
Business Internship & Career Fair
Women In Technology Gala event for UK undergraduate women
NSE (National Student Exchange) Information Session
Wed
29
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
FIFA Tournament
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: YOGA
Yoga at Commonwealth Stadium
Thu
30
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Indonesia Focus Conference
Indonesia Focus Conference
Craft Writing: Beer, the Digital, and Craft Culture
Fri
 
Sep 26
Let's Talk! 09/26/2016

Repeats every 7 days until Tue Dec 13 2016 .
Tue, 09/27/2016

Tue, 09/27/2016 - Thu, 09/29/2016

Tue, 09/27/2016

Repeats every 7 days until Wed Dec 14 2016 .
Wed, 09/28/2016

Reset Page