Summer Safety: How to Stay Safe on the Playground

30th of June 2017

Summer is an excellent time to dust off the sports equipment and head to the park for a game of soccer, softball, or basketball. Whether your playground features a pool, a nifty playground, or a newly renovated softball field, the following tips will keep you in tip-top shape.

Playing It Safe

The National Program for Playground Safety reports that over 200,000 children are injured on playgrounds each year. Luckily, most injuries could be prevented with supervision and assessment by an adult who knows what they’re looking for. Here are some things to lookout for when assessing your local playgrounds for safety hazards:

  • Surfaces where children may fall should be made of wood chips, mulch, wood fibers, sand, pea gravel, shredded tires, or rubber mats.
  • Check the slides and edges of your playground for any sharp edges that may cut children or catch on their clothes.
  • Remember that children shouldn’t wear clothing with drawstrings on the playground.
  • Open platforms should have guardrails to prevent falls.

Water Wise

Whether you’re chilling lakeside or poolside this summer, be sure to take the proper precautions to avoid any accidents. The National Safety Council reported that 737 people aged 5 to 24 drowned in 2014. Here are some simple tips to keep everyone safe this summer:

  • Never swim alone.
  • Swim in an environment that matches your skills. Swimming in the ocean or in a lake is far more challenging that swimming in a pool.
  • If you get caught in a current, stay calm and swim parallel to the shore until you can swim free.
  • Be aware of your surroundings; don’t jump on or push others.

Stay Cool

With the temperature steadily rising, we all need to be aware of heat related illnesses and how to treat them in case of an emergency. The Centers for Disease Control notes that the best way to avoid heat-related illness is to limit exposure outdoors on hot days. They also recommend drinking more water, wearing loose, lightweight clothing and cut back on your sodium intake. However, if you happen to be in a situation where someone collapses due to heat, here are some steps you can take to help:

  • Move the person into a shaded area.
  • Call for emergency medical help immediately.
  • Do not give them any type of medication; wait for medical responders.
  • Place a cold washcloth on the back of their neck, or spray them with cold water and fan them vigorously.
  • Drink cold water or a sports drink.

And that’s a wrap folks! Be sure to keep cool this summer and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated while out and about. Remember, if you see someone suffering from heat related illness, call for help immediately and get them to a cool or shady spot nearby. But most importantly, remember to have fun this summer.

Sasha Chavez, AmeriCorps VIP Intern
Sasha is volunteering with the Children’s Foundation of America as our AmeriCorps VIP (Volunteer Infrastructure Program) Intern. This mutually beneficial partnership allows Sasha to work hand-in-hand with the Children’s Foundation of America to develop and expand the quality of the volunteer opportunities to address the unmet needs of our local community. Sasha has been a wonderful asset to our team. She creates content for our social media, assists with our community outreach and has even helped by coordinating fundraisers and volunteer opportunities. She lives locally to our headquarters in Claremont and studies public relations and marketing at the University of La Verne. When she isn’t volunteering with the Foundation, she enjoys reading, being outdoors and spending time with my friends and family.

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