According to most experts, the summer season means more personal injuries resulting from playgrounds and playground accidents. Playground injuries can range from simple bumps and scrapes, to serious head injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and even fatalities. Each summer, many children visit emergency rooms as a result of injuries incurred on playground equipment.
There are many ways that injuries can happen at the playground. Loose clothing can become caught on monkey bars or other playground equipment, posing a choking hazard or trapping a child. Children can easily fall from slides, ladders, and other equipment on the playground. Even with a soft cushion around the equipment, injuries can result. Children can also bump into the wood and metal that most playgrounds are made from, harming themselves.
Germs are another major concern at most playgrounds. According to research conducted in 2007 by ABC News, 59 of 60 playgrounds researched had harmful bacteria on playground equipment. This bacteria could lead to infections and illnesses. Many parents do not think about wiping playground equipment before a child uses it, but it can be a good precaution. At the very least, have wipes handy so that your child can wash their hands after playing on the equipment — before he or she eats a snack.
Since playgrounds often contain many germs, it becomes important to disinfect any wounds that develop at the playground. A simple scrape can tale a long time to heal if it is exposed to bacteria from playgrounds. Disinfectant wipes, antibiotic cream, and good washing are all important when treating minor injuries at the playground.
One major problem with playground injuries is that parents are less prepared for them. While at home many parents have a first aid kit and easy access to a telephone in order to call for help in the event of an injury, at a playground these items may not be so handy. It is a good idea for families to carry cell phones so that they can call for help in an emergency. It is also a great idea to have bandages and antibiotic ointment on hand in the event of a bump or scrape at the playground.
It is important for parents to check the safety of playgrounds in their area. All playgrounds should have a soft surface such as sand, shredded rubber, or another surface, that is at least 12 inches deep. This soft surface should extend well beyond the edges of all equipment. Playground equipment should be well constructed, sturdy, and in good repair. Unsafe playgrounds should be reported at once to the municipality where you live.