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When talking about back to school safety most parents discuss bullying. However, children are 9 times more likely to sustain an unintentional injury, whether at school or on the playground, than be the victim of violence at school. According to the National SAFE KIDS Campaign, 2.2 million children, aged 14 and under, are injured in school related accidents per year.
Playgrounds have proven to be quite dangerous, with at least 200,000 kids per year treated in the emergency room for playground associated injuries – we’ve included some tips to help make sure that your child isn’t one of them.
- Check the ground – playground surfaces should have 12-inch depth of wood chips, mulch, sand, pea gravel, or mats made of safety tested rubber of fiber material. This helps to protect against possible head injuries.
- Look for potentially dangerous hardware, such as protruding “S” hooks or bolt ends.
- Make sure that spaces that children, or their body parts, can get trapped in measure less than 3 ½ inches or more than 9 inches – spaces such as openings in guardrails or between ladder rungs.
- Look out for things that children can trip over, such as exposed concrete footings, tree stumps, and large rocks.
- If the equipment is made from metal it should be painted or primed to prevent rusting. Without it, the structure can weaken or develop sharp, broken edges. Parts used for climbing and gripping are also safest if covered with slip resistant material on metal equipment.
This is just one article out of a three-article series, check back on our website to discover new Back To School Safety Tips!