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There are some great playgrounds and play parks all over the country ranging from marvelous gated parks such as the Princess Diana Memorial Play Park in Kensington Gardens, London where the huge Peter Pan pirate ship play ground is surrounded by sensory gardens and a musical maze, to the tiny play park at the end of the round. Whatever facilities you have nearby, it's great to get out and enjoy the parks with the children.
However, there are thousands of accidents in play parks each year ranging from broken bones to concussions and sprains.
The age group at the highest risk are those between 6 and 9.
Play it Safe
Obviously you don't want to ban them from going to the playground, because you're scared they will fall over and hurt themselves, because its healthy to be out in the fresh air, exercising, practising physical skills and developing their social skills. However, you don't want to end up in A&E with a broken limb! Yes, there are risks, yes they may fall,but here are some tips to reduce the chance of accidents.
- Check the equipment: give a quick look round to check the apparatus looks sturdy and safe... especially if you are on holiday abroad in a new place that you don't know well.
- Talk about playground rules before you go in. Ask the children what they know already and make sure they understand how to play safely. This should include: not going near moving swings, holding on tight to swings and climbing frames, keeping shoes on etc.
- Make sure they don't touch anything they find that looks unusual or unfamiliar. Instead they should come and find you.
- If they break a rule, warn them they will be removed from the park if they do it again and explain why the need to play safely... and stick to it if they do disobey you!
- Report any breakages to the park authority.
- Have fun!