• Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Keeping Your Child Safe When In An Ontario Playground

#AskZevBergman

Playgrounds located throughout Ontario offer children a place to have fun in what should be a safe environment. The dilemma faced by parents is how to ensure a particular playground and its equipment are safe. Falls are a leading cause of injuries and emergency department visits for children, and playground equipment is one of the leading causes of childhood falls. Parents can contribute toward making their child’s visit to a playground a safe one by being aware of some of the common causes of accidents and injuries in playgrounds.

Make certain your child is ready for the playground

Focusing on the condition of the playground and its equipment is important, but it’s important to make certain your child is properly dressed and prepared before entering the play area. Some things to check about your child include the following:

  • Drawstrings, scarves, hoods and loose clothing can catch on or become entangled in playground equipment and cause injury to a child.
  • If peddling to the playground, make sure children remove their bicycle helmets once they reach the playground. Helmets can become stuck spaces in playground equipment and trap the child’s head.
  • Do not allow your child to enter the playground without wearing shoes or sneakers.

Do not allow your child to use playground equipment unless you or another responsible adult is present to supervise.

Children will fall down, so check for a safe playground surface

Grass and dirt are no safer in the event of a fall than concrete and asphalt surfaces. Soft materials are best for playground surfaces, particularly in areas surrounding the equipment where a child is most likely to fall. Sand and synthetic surfaces, such as shredded rubber or rubber matting, should be at least 30 cm deep to minimize the risk of injury in a fall.

It’s always a good practice to walk around the playground to inspect for hazardous objects left on the ground. Glass items, nails, and other materials that could cut or injure a child should immediately be removed.

Inspect the playground equipment before allowing children to use it

You should inspect playground equipment each time you bring your children there to play. Make sure there are no sharp or rough spots that could cause cuts and lacerations. Wooden equipment should be checked for signs of broken sections and splinters.

Check swings to make sure the frames from which they are suspended are securely fastened in the ground. The seats of the swings should not be ripped or torn. The chains or cables from which the seats of the swings are suspended should not show signs of wear that could cause them to break.

On sunny days, slides and other metal surfaces can become dangerously hot to the touch. Check the surfaces to ensure children using the equipment will not be burned by the hot surface.

Talk to your children about playground safety

Take a few minutes to teach your child how to safely use the playground and its equipment. Some things to discuss include:

  • Always remain sitting when on swings.
  • Do not get off a swing until it has come to a stop.
  • Avoid walking too close to swings to avoid being hit.
  • Use handrails when climbing slides.
  • Only go down a slide facing feet forward and never head first.
  • Move away from the bottom of the slide as soon as they reach the ground.
  • Only one person at a time should go down a slide

Remind your child to always remain within the playground area and within sight of you or another responsible adult at all times.

Ontario personal injury lawyers

When accidents happen on playgrounds due to faulty or poorly maintained equipment, your child could be entitled to make a claim for damages. The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have years of experience helping people injured through the negligent or intentional conduct of other parties to obtain compensation. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We have offices located throughout Ontario offering free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims and their families.

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