Hazards and dangers are all around us and when you have kids it is easy to become paranoid about all the little things. Some parents are even afraid to take their children to the playground at a park for fear of them getting hurt or pushed around by other kids. If you are one of these parents, you are not alone.
Facing your fears about letting your child learn and grow (even if this means taking few knocks along the way) will do them – and you – the world of good. All you have to do is remain vigilant and take various precautions when visiting the playground.
1) Set Some Ground Rules
This conversation will have to be adapted depending on how old your child is, but should go something along the lines of, -when we get to the playground, don’t run away from me and listen when I ask you to do something. Children get over-excited, it is natural, so preparing them beforehand and requesting them to be good will help a great deal. If your child is particularly boisterous, you can also tell them that if they are naughty or don’t listen to you, you will leave the playground.
2) Be Aware of Your Comfortable Levels
Every child is different and some are more advanced when it comes to playground equipment than others. You should let your child play on the equipment that you feel comfortable with. If you feel that they are not ready for the monkey bars, tell them that they are not allowed to play on it just yet. Restricting them to the swings and other suitable equipment will give you some peace and make it easy for your child to settle in.
3) Teach Them to Use the Equipment
Start helping them to gain confidence with the equipment as soon as possible. When your child goes to school, they are taught to play on the equipment, but you can also start doing when you are ready. Teach them how to use it and also how to get on and off the equipment.
4) Be Vigilant
The playground is not the time to take your favorite book and relax. You should keep watching your child at all times. Aside from accidents that happen due to slipping or tripping, your child could also get pushed around by another child at the playground which you must look out for. You must also keep an eye out for suspicious people that might be hanging around and watching the kids. You never know who is out there looking to take advantage, so always have an eye on your child. If you feel uncomfortable, then leave.
5) Sun Safety
This is one safety item you might not think of. Always put on sun block before going to the park and make sure that your child also wears a hat at the playground. It only takes about 10 minutes for the skin to burn, so you should not take any chances.
6) Correct Clothing and Shoes
Some playgrounds have thorns in the grass and wood that might be splintering on the jungle gym, so you should always let your child wear closed, comfortable shoes. Clothing such as t-shirt and shorts will be the easiest thing and for the purposes of the slide, make sure that the pants are not slippery ones, otherwise your child will whoosh down uncontrollably.
7) Medical Accessories
Anything can happen on the playground, so it is always a good idea to carry some medical accessories with you just in case. Keep some plasters in your bag with a small tube of Dettol, or other antiseptic ointment. Take some wet wipes as well to wipe off the majority of the dirt.
Well, there you have it. These 7 tips will ensure that your child is as safe as possible on the playground. Remember that teaching your child how to use the equipment, and to be an independent thinker, is the best form of safety you can provide.