You slather on the sunscreen, pack up the snacks, and bring your child to the playground so they can burn off some energy — and you can get a much-needed break. But playgrounds can be a precarious place, especially for small children. So if you thought that you could just sit on the park bench and chill, think again. There are a whole host of extra safety precautions you’ll need to take in order to keep your child safe at the playground. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Supervise Your Child
There are a plethora of parents at a playground, so you might automatically assume that your kiddo is safe. But that’s not always the case, so you should always monitor your child to ensure that you can see them from wherever you are. Also, keeping an eye on your kiddo means that you’ll catch them if they’re monkeying around on the monkey bars…and could potentially fall.
2. Touch The Equipment
Since most playgrounds are outdoors, you’ll need to be mindful of how hot (or cold) the equipment becomes. After all, it’s easy for metal surfaces (such as slides) to warm up fairly quickly during the summer, or become frigid during the colder fall or winter months. To avoid potential freezing or burning your kid’s butt, place your hand on the slide to ensure that it’s safe enough for your child to slide down on.
3. Keep Shoes On
The playground is an exciting place, which is why some kids want to kick off their shoes and have fun. This can especially be the case if your playground has a sprinkler, which might tempt your toddler to walk around barefoot. But your child can burn their feet, particularly on concrete surfaces during the summer, so make sure they keeps their sneaks or sandals on the entire time.
4. Know What To Wear
Sure, shorts and tee shirts are standard playground attire. But be wary of your child wearing anything with a drawstring (like a hoodie). It’s super easy for strings to get caught in playground equipment — and potentially cause a choking hazard. So check your child’s clothing ahead of time to ensure that they don’t have anything too loose that could pose a problem.
5. Use Sunblock
Your child might be antsy to meet up with his friends at the playground, causing you to forget to put on sunscreen until you get to the park. Thing is, sunscreen needs time to absorb in order to be effective. In fact, Kids’ Health reported that you should apply sunscreen to your child’s skin 15-30 minutes before going outside. So be sure to slather on the sunscreen with enough time before you hit the park.
A trip to the playground is always fun for kids, but not always so for parents. Be sure to take the proper precautions to keep your child safe at the playground, and it’ll be a day at the park…for both of you.