Heather Olsen: Hi, I am Heather Olsen and I am part of the National Program for Playground Safety team. We all have favourite playground equipment, and today I want to focus on keeping children safe on two pieces of common playground equipment; swings and slides.
First, all swings should be made out of soft equipment like rubber or plastic not metal or wood. Wood can get splinters and metal swings can get hot. Be sure that children are using the swing properly. Never allow them to stand or kneel, as children are more prone to fall off the swings. Children should be instructed to hold both hands on the swing chain for the help of balance and stability and sit comfortably.
It is important that children never swing with another person on the same swing because swings are made for one person and the probability of injury is much greater. While at the playground instruct other children to pay attention to the swing. Always stay a safe distance away and not go in front or back of the moving swing.
Lastly, check chains for rust and make the sure the S-hooks on swings chains tire swings and climbers are closed, so no fingers get pinched or strangulation could occur. S-hooks should be completely enclosed, so a dime cannot fit through S-hook. If you see one that isn't safe, dont let any children on it. S-hooks can be closed with S-hook pliers.
Now onto slides; slides can be exciting for children to switch down, but they can also be dangerous. Here are a few simple slide rules. Instruct children to slide feet first, never on their back or stomach. The probability of children receiving a head, face or neck injury is more likely. Only one person should be on the slide platform at a time to prevent pushing and shoving.
Always make sure no one is at the bottom of the slide or in the Safe Zone to prevent someone getting knocked over. The Safe Zone is considered the Use Zone. Use Zone space is typically 6 feet around the equipment.
And finally, adult should check for debris, such as water, sticks, rocks or sharp objects before children head down the slide. For more information the U.
S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has the handbook for playground safety available on the website at www.
With these safety tips. your children can enjoy the popular slides and swings on the playground and still be safe.