Keeping playground play safe

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News 12 This Morning / Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- "My grandson, he's five and he's rough," said Wendy Wilson. "He likes to jump on things and jump down."

Wilson says all her grandkids love playing outside.

"You've got to keep a check on them," she said. "You can't let them go outside by themselves. You've got to be out there with them, you've got to watch them at all times."

That's the number one rule Rene Hopkins with Safe Kids Greater Augusta says adults should keep in mind when children are playing on the playground.

"We really mean on the playground--it needs to be eyes on," Hopkins explained. "If you can't see them, you don't know what they're doing."

She recommends doing a basic check of the playground, making sure the equipment looks good--and that there's good surfacing.

"In other words, when you fall is it going to cushion the fall?" she said.

Parents should also make sure their children are dressed properly, which means no loose clothing or items around the neck that could get caught as they play.

Hopkins also says to make sure there aren't any hazardous spaces where your child could get stuck.

"If this fits through an opening, then this must," she explained. "Otherwise, the child could be suspended from their neck causing strangulation."

And don't forget about conditions from things like hot or rainy weather.

"Metal slides, even plastic slights can get hot so you want to think about it," she said. "Make sure that there are no areas of standing water. It takes less than a half of inch of water for a child to drown if they end up in it face first."

And, remember to watch out for activity from insects like mosquitoes or ants.

"We've had loads of rain, so ants are a huge problem everywhere now," she said. "Look for a non toxic form of ant removal."

All things parents and grandparents like Wilson, can use to make sure play time is also safe time.

"Just remember supervision, surfacing and proper equipment," said Hopkins.

"Yeah, I'm gonna make sure they're safe," Wilson agreed.

If you ever see any issues, whether it's a school playground or a public, make sure to report it.

And you can even have Safe Kids Greater Augusta, led by Children's Hospital of Georgia, assess a playground. Just email or call 706-721-7606 for more information.

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