Just How Safe Are Playgrounds and Their Equipment?

Written by on October 11, 2012 in Family - No comments | Print this page

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During your child’s early years, the best way for them to learn is through playing. Experts agree that outdoor playing is superior to indoor for a number of reasons. Compared to indoor activities, it involves more exercise, access to fresh air and the vitamins which come from sun exposure. For outdoor playing, playgrounds are excellent places for you to take your child.

Amongst the swings, roundabouts and climbing frames your child will learn essential skills. These include social skills as they interact with other children, problem solving skills as they approach new challenges and independence as they learn to tackle obstacles without you. The outdoor equipment also keeps your child fit and active, which is extremely important considering the rising obesity rates in children.

However, despite the numerous benefits to outdoor play, many parents still avoid playgrounds because of fears that they are unsafe. While nobody likes seeing a child hurt him or herself, parents who keep kids indoors are denying them of invaluable learning experiences. Obviously, nobody is encouraging you to let the kids run loose on an ancient, rickety climbing frame which looks set to collapse at any second; but the majority of playgrounds these days are maintained regularly and fitted with specially designed playground safety surfaces, such as grass mats, to minimise injuries. The odd fall and scrape may still occur, but it’s important for parents to remember that this isn’t the fault of the playground – instead it is just a natural consequence of kids’ play.

If you recognise yourself as a slightly overprotective parent, then the main message which experts are attempting to convey is that your children possibly deserve more credit than you give them. They will recognise the dangers of metal bars, high slides and monkey bars themselves, and the development of this awareness is essential to their growing. Kids will probably also cope with the odd scratch or bruise pretty well, as long as you don’t panic them by becoming upset yourself or banning them from the see-saw.

The same sort of minor injuries could just as easily be gained playing at home – in fact, there is probably more risk of injury on the patio slabs in your own back garden than there is on the playground safety surfaces at your local park. Further, a bumped head from falling off the monkey bars is unlikely to put your child off playing – on the contrary, they will probably see the bars as a challenge to complete next time. Again, this is a useful skill which you should be encouraging in your children.

Nowadays, outdoor play areas are designed to be both mentally stimulating and safer than ever before. It’s natural to want to protect your children, but it is important to remember that overprotective behavior can be much more hindering to your child’s development than a grazed knee.

This is a guest post.  Written By Adam Barley – Adam has been writing articles for years now with great success on numerous different topics.

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