The best way to help your child avoid bumps and bruises in playgrounds is to actively supervise your child at play.
By staying close to your child, especially when they’re trying something new or complicated, you can help keep playground visits safe and give your child the confidence to develop movement skills.
It’s also important to choose activities and equipment that suit your child’s skills and abilities. These guidelines can help when you’re deciding what equipment is best for your child:
- If your child is under three years, try to stick to playground equipment less than 1 m in height.
- If your child is aged 3-5 years, try to stick to playground equipment less than 1.5 m in height.
- If your child is older than five years, try to stick to equipment that is no higher than 2 m off the ground.
If you give your child plenty of opportunities to play and practice, they’ll keep developing the skills they need for safely using and enjoying monkey bars, climbing frames, swings and slides.
To keep children safe and avoid injury at playgrounds, it’s a good idea to check the safety of the playground equipment and environment:
- Buckle your child into swings if buckles are available. Your child will be less likely to fall out.
- Check that the equipment is in good condition and the general environment has no obvious safety hazards, like sharp sticks.
- Check the temperature of playground equipment like metal slides, poles, barriers and surfaces. Materials like metal, rubber and artificial turf can heat up in the sun and become hot enough to burn.
- Look for a safe ground surface in your playground. The equipment should be set in a thick layer of material like organic mulch, which will cushion falls. It could also be soft rubber flooring.
- Look for a playground that has shadecloth over some or all of the equipment, or at least some shade nearby.
- Look for a playground with a fence around it. This will help to stop young children from running on to nearby roads. It also makes it much easier if you’re looking after several children at once.