Playing it safe

Playgrounds are great places for children to exercise, but you want to be sure your children are safe while they’re having fun.

More than 200,000 children visit the emergency room every year after being injured on playgrounds. While the swing set can seem terrifying in the face of that statistic, rest assured that you can keep your children safe on the playground by following these guidelines from the National Safety Council and the American Academy of Pediatrics:

Anchors away — All playground equipment should be anchored in the ground and have no sharp edges.

Cleared for landing — Playgrounds should be covered in soft materials like wood chips, mulch, sand or rubber to allow for a safe landing from the monkey bars or slide. The ground around playground equipment should be clear out to 6 feet in case of falls.

Dress for the occasion — Don’t let your children wear drawstring hoodies or jackets on the playground. The drawstrings may get snagged on playground equipment.

Headspace — All openings on the playground need to be smaller than 3 inches or larger than 9 inches wide.

Slippery slopes — Make sure slides have railings for children to hold onto as they climb the stairs. All slides should be located in the shade so they don’t get too hot.

Swing away — Swing sets should have only two swings per frame. S-hooks on swings should be closed completely, and swings should be at least two feet apart.

Unfortunately, accidents happen and when your child is injured, The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio has three emergency centers staffed with doctors and nurses who specialize in children’s emergencies. Visit us at any of the following locations:

The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio (downtown)
333 North Santa Rosa, San Antonio, Texas 78207

The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio Emergency Center – Stone Oak
1434 East Sonterra Blvd., San Antonio, Texas 78258

The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio Emergency Center – Westover Hills
11212 State Highway 151, San Antonio, Texas 78251

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