Healthy Living

Playground safety tips to prevent injuries

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Every year, hundreds of thousands of children are injured on playgrounds, but it doesn't have to be that way. There are things parents can do and watch out for that will keep their kids safer on the playground.

Nancy Harvey Steorts, former chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, says it's okay to let your child play, but there are things every parent should watch out for.

"Parents cannot just send their kids to a park and expect them to be safe," said Steorts.

First up is improper surfacing. Mulch or wood chips are most common, but they need to be deep to absorb falls

"The ground cover is supposed to be between six and nine inches of mulch, and you can see right here you've just got some leaves. If a child fell on this, they could get very seriously injured," said Steorts.

Falls account for 70 percent of playground accidents. With climbers, swings and slides being the top equipment culprits.

Next up is railings. Make sure they're securely anchored, along with swings and other equipment.

"Here you've got the railings so that when the child is going up the steps, they've got something to hold onto. They won't fall off," said Steorts.

Also watch out for openings or dangerous corners that kids could get entangled in.

"Strangulation has always been a big issue on playgrounds because a lot of times kids' clothing will get caught as they're recreating on the playground," Steorts said.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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health, children's health, healthy living, denise dador
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