Children of all ages love to play outdoors where they can run, spin, swing and be free. With the cooler temperatures fading, it’s the perfect weather to enjoy the sun – and even the rain – during the day.
Scraped knees, bumped heads and other mishaps are going to happen during playtime. But, with the tips below, we hope to help you address safety concerns and prevent serious injuries so that everyone has fun during outside play.
If you child attends a child care program, it’s always a good idea to inspect the outside play area. Other questions you can ask are:
- How do the children travel to and from the play area?
- Is the play area completely fenced in, with no holes or areas where children can squeeze through?
- Are gate entrances secured while the children are in the play area?
- How often is the play area and equipment inspected for damage or harmful objects?
- How many children are allowed in the play area at one time, and what are their ages?
- How many teachers supervise the children during play?
- Is there a first aid kit stocked and available for the play space?
- When traveling to nearby parks, do children need to cross a road? If so, how do the teachers handle this and what are the children taught?
General Tips for Parents and Caregivers for Outdoor Safety:
- Never leave children alone outside.
- Establish a play area and rules: Stay away from the street; grab an adult if a ball rows into a street or out of the play area; never wander off alone; tell an adult if they need to use the restroom; never eat anything, like berries, plants or mushrooms found outside; and, always stay in sight of their caregiver.
- Check the outside play area regularly to look for any broken equipment, sharp branches or glass, trash, animal wastes, and etc.
- If the playground has slides, check the temperature on the slide surface before allowing your child to go down it to prevent burns.
- Keep sand boxes securely covered to keep animals out.
- When riding on anything with wheels – scooters, tricycles, bikes, skates and skateboards – always wear a helmet in good condition and safety pads as needed.
- Never leave a child alone during any kind of water play, even with a water bucket or table. It only takes a few inches of water for a child to drown.
- Keep your children hydrated. Lots of water for drinking!
- Apply sunblock liberally.
- Use bug spray to help keep mosquitos and ticks away.
Choosing child care is one of the most important decisions your family will make. You can begin your search by calling CCRI’s Child Care Search at 704.348.2181 to let trusted experts help you.