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Playground Safety

Research shows that more children die playing on backyard playgrounds than on public playgrounds. Here's how to keep your children safe at home.


Home Safety - Poison Prevention Tips
  • Accidents can happen the moment your back is turned. Stay with your children the whole time they are playing on backyard play sets.
Home Safety - Poison Prevention Tips
  • Make sure the area under and around the play equipment is covered with soft materials. This will help protect injuries to the brain and bones when children fall. Rubber mulch, hardwood chips and pea gravel are best.
Home Safety - Poison Prevention Tips
  • Grass and dirt under the play set are not safe. The soft materials should be nine to 12 inches deep and extend six feet from all sides of play equipment.
Home Safety - Poison Prevention Tips
  • Make sure there is plenty of room between play equipment. For example, climbing equipment should have a “fall zone” of at least six feet in all directions of equipment.
Home Safety - Poison Prevention Tips
  • Keep young children from playing on equipment designed for older children. Children under the age of 6 should not climb higher than 4 feet. Older children should not climb higher than 6 feet.
Home Safety - Poison Prevention Tips
  • Choose solid play equipment and keep it in good shape. Look for signs of rust, chipped paint, cracked or broken parts, etc. Fix them.
Home Safety - Poison Prevention Tips
  • Beware of spaces where your child's head or body could get stuck. A child's head can be trapped in openings between 3.5 and 9 inches wide.
  • Older play equipment can have openings that are between 3.5 and 9 inches wide. A child's head or body parts can fit through this space. It is very dangerous because children could be trapped and not be able to breathe.
Home Safety - Poison Prevention Tips
  • Make sure areas where children climb have good walls or railings to keep them from falling.
Home Safety - Poison Prevention Tips
  • Keep the play area clear of things children could trip over – rocks, branches, toys, etc.
Home Safety - Poison Prevention Tips
  • Pull out drawstrings in children's clothes. Make sure your child takes off any necklaces, purses, bicycle helmets and scarves before they play. These things could get caught on something and your child would not be able to breathe.
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