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When Kids Are At Play, Parents Should Be On Alert

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Joan Lunden

Family / / April 23, 2009

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Well, spring is officially here and that means kids will be heading to playgrounds all across America and so it is appropriately Playground Safety Week. I don’t know about your family but our two sets of twins could spend hours on the slides, swings, monkey bars and climbing wall screaming and laughing and chasing each other around till they are red in the face. And then of course there is the racing up the slide in the wrong direction. What’s up with that, I’ve always wondered why is that so appealing?

While the risks associated with swimming pools or riding bikes might seem more obvious to most of us, Safe Kids USA reports that each year thousands of children are injured on playgrounds around the country. I remember a few years ago when my husband’s nephew fell off the monkey bars this first Spring week end and broke his arm. So while it’s exhilarating to feel the sunshine on our bodies and smell the flowers blooming and run outside to play, as parents we need to dust off the bike helmets and the knee pads and check the swing sets and the sporting equipment to ensure getting this spring sporting season off to a good start.

As parents Safe Kids USA says we need to need to stay attentive and be aware of certain safety precautions to ensure our kids remain safe. Here are some of their tips:

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Playgrounds should have safe surfacing beneath all playground equipment. The ground should be covered with energy-absorbing materials like shredded rubber, wood chips or sand, extending at least six feet in all directions around the equipment-grass and soil are not good playground surfaces.

Remove hood and neck drawstrings from children's clothing and outerwear and don't let kids wear helmets, necklaces, purses or scarves on the playground.

Don't allow your kids to engage in, or play near, any pushing, shoving or crowding around playground equipment.

Keep toddlers under age 5 in a separate play area, away from equipment designed for bigger kids. Playgrounds should be separate for children ages 2 to 5 and 5 to 12.

Above all, keep your kids in sight and in reach on the playground at all times and give them your undivided attention.

Encourage your children to get up from their computers, and get outside and play. And better yet, get out there and play with them. It’s good for your health, it’s great “family time” and you will be setting a good example.

Categories: Parenting
About The Author
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Joan Lunden truly exemplifies today’s modern working woman. An award-winning journalist, bestselling author, motivational speaker, successful entrepreneur, one of America’s most recognized and trusted television personalities, this mom of seven continues to do it all. As host of Good Morning America for nearly two decades, Lunden brought insight to top issues for millions of Americans each day. The longest running host ever on early morning television, Lunden reported from 26 countries, covered 4 presidents and 5 Olympics and kept Americans up to date on how to care for their homes, their families and themselves.

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