Safety tips to prevent injuries at the playground

As much as you might want to, it’s a bad idea, and wildly impractical, to bubble-wrap your children before they head outside to play, but there are a few things you can do to help keep them safe.

“Being physically active with them, and always within an arm's reach. That's the most important thing to help prevent some of those falls," said Jill Lucas, from Safe Kids Southwest Virginia.

Of course, you can’t prevent all falls, so Lucas said try to find playgrounds and jungle gyms that have padded surfaces. While bike helmets are a good choice for riding to the playground, Lucas said they’re a bad idea on the jungle gym, as are any hats that attach under the neck, because they are a strangulation hazard.

Lucas also said dehydration is common as well.

"Most kids when they go out to play, whether it's sports or just outside to play are already dehydrated. So, make sure they get lots of water. American Academy of Pediatrics says water. They don't need the sports drinks. They just need water, water, water," she said.

Another common injury that many parents don’t know about happens to toddlers who ride down slides on the laps of adults. Kevin Borrup, the Director of the Injury Prevention Program at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, said that’s a big no-no.

“When parents place children on their lap to go down the slide, what children often do is put out their legs to brace themselves to stop them going down. When a child puts out a leg to brace themselves, they can get injured and break a leg because the force of the adult going down the slide continues and a child`s not strong enough to really stop those forces,” he said.

Borrup said it’s safest to let children go down the slide alone, but if the child is unwilling, the adult should hold the child’s legs in place so that they don’t come in contact with the slide’s surface.