How to keep kids safe on the playground

CNN
Sunday, May 4, 2014 - 9:00am

With the weather heating up, the playground is often where kids spend a majority of their time.

Playing is fun and doctors encourage the physical activity.

Enjoying a great playground is a rite of passage for many children.

But injuries can and do occur. Some are serious, a few even fatal.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are more than 200,000 trips to the emergency room each year from playground-related injuries, most from falls.

“Where the kids will fall from a high place, they fall on their outstretched hand and then they get a small fracture in the wrist or the elbow,” said Dr. David Marshall, the Medical Director of Sports Medicine.

But, doctors say parents can take these safety precautions.

First, the surface of the playground matters...A lot. You'll want to avoid concrete.

“If a child should happen to fall on their shoulders, their neck, their wrists, their knees, their ankles, that concrete is not going to give,” Dr. Marshall said.

Instead, look for surfaces made of sand, wood chips or safety-tested mats.

Dr. David Marshall also says make sure the equipment is in good shape- that means no loose bolts or splintered wood, and appropriate for the age of the child.

And finally... nothing can replace adult supervision.

All tips to make play-time a safe-time.

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