As your child begins to walk and learns to play independently, they are likely to take an interest in playgrounds. Before allowing your child to play at a playground at any age, there are a few safety rules you should teach them to prevent potential injuries, accidents, or unnecessary confrontations. It’s important for your kids to play, but it’s best if they do it safely. Here are some basics you should start with.
Be Respectful of Others
Children must learn how to behave respectfully in social situations, including whenever they are playing at a playground. Teach your child the importance of being respectful and kind to others. Teaching your child to remain mindful of others' space is also important before allowing them to play at a playground to prevent potential accidents or injuries. Remind your child that some playground equipment, like slides, need to have only one person play on them at a time so that no one bumps into each other and gets hurt.
Use Equipment Properly
Teaching your children how to use playground equipment and structures properly is essential to prevent potential mishaps and serious injuries from occurring. The most common playground injuries come from climbing on playground equipment that may not be meant for climbing. Discuss the dos and don'ts of playground equipment before allowing your child the opportunity to play. Your child should also know how to remain aware of using equipment or playground structures appropriately when there are other children playing with them. Always ensure that the playground equipment that your child is playing on is age-appropriate and suitable for their maturity level, skills, and playground abilities.
Do Not Talk to Strangers
It’s important that you discuss stranger danger with your child regardless of their age. It is imperative that your child is always aware of their surroundings and that they are not vulnerable to bribes or persuasion, especially when on the playground or playing outdoors on their own. Your child should always know what to do when something goes wrong, especially when they are playing outdoors or at a playground by themselves. Ensure that your child understands what to do whenever an emergency situation arises, including memorizing important phone numbers and rehearsing an escape plan together.
Setting safety rules for your child before allowing them to play on a playground is a way to protect them from strangers and physical harm. When your child is prepared socially, physically and mentally to play on a playground, it is much easier to gain peace of mind as a parent when allowing them to explore their environment independently.