What You Don’t Know About Parks May Endanger Your Child


Think parks are a safe haven for children? Think again. Kids Health reports that emergency rooms treat up to 200,000 children with burns and serious injuries from playground equipment. Both consumer-owned and public play and climbing equipment pose significant dangers to children. Here’s what you should know before letting kids play:

Children Suffer Burns From Playground Equipment on Mild Days

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that at least one child sustained second-degree burns on a public playground in 74 degree Fahrenheit weather! The child suffered these burns after touching a plastic slide, the CPSC adds. Parents need to carefully supervise their child at all times, in all kinds of weather.

Moreover, parents should carefully choose backyard play sets and climbing equipment — and public playgrounds — built from the safest materials. All metal play equipment should be coated to protect children. Plastic and rubber parts should be light-colored only. Dark plastic and rubber absorb heat, increasing risks of burns and injuries. When putting together play sets, parents should be careful to choose nylon nuts, plastic screws, and plastic screw cover caps whenever possible. Kids can sustain injuries from nails, bolts, and screws. Installing plastic bolt covers or plastic screw covers prevents cuts and burns.

Hard Surfaces and Play Sets Do Not Mix

Outdated play equipment may be placed on asphalt, concrete, or rock. Daycare centers and parents continue to put children in jeopardy by using climbing equipment and toys inside. Simply put, play equipment on hard surfaces — whether publicly or privately owned — is extremely dangerous.

Wood chips, wood mulch, sand, and rubber are the best materials to surround playgrounds or backyard play sets. Similarly, climbing toys should never be placed on hardwood floors, even if they’re covered by regular or shag carpet, the CPSC says.

Don’t assume play sets and climbing equipment for sale are safe. Don’t risk children’s safety by taking them to outdated playgrounds. Protect children by using lightly colored plastic screws and screw cover caps to prevent burns. Never install play equipment on a hard surface — whether indoors or outdoors.
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