Stick with Shock Absorbing Surfaces - Ensure there is safe surfacing beneath and surrounding all playground equipment. Recommended surface materials include sand, pea gravel, wood chips, mulch and shredded rubber. Rubber mats, synthetic turf and other artificial materials are also safe surfaces and require less maintenance.
Avoid Hard Surfaces - Avoid playgrounds with asphalt, concrete, grass, dirt and soil surfaces under the equipment. A fall onto a shock absorbing surface is less likely to cause a serious injury than a fall onto a hard surface.
Swing Safe - For swings, make sure that the surfacing extends, in the back and front, twice the height of the suspending bar, so if the top of the swing set is 10 feet high, the surfacing should extend 20 feet.
Use a Professional - Make sure that all playgrounds are inspected and maintained by qualified personnel. Daily, monthly and annual maintenance schedules should be followed.
Age-Appropriate - Maintain separate play areas for children under age 5. Ensure that children use age-appropriate playground equipment.
School Safety - Ensure that schools and childcare centers have age-appropriate, well-maintained playground equipment and that trained supervisors are present at all times when children are on the playground. Report any playground safety hazards to the organization responsible for the site (e.g., school, park authority, city council).
Constant Supervision - Always supervise children using playground equipment. Stay where you can see and hear them.
No Horseplay - Prevent unsafe behaviors like pushing, shoving, crowding and inappropriate use of equipment.
Clothing Hazards - Remove hood and neck drawstrings from all children’s outerwear. Never allow children to wear helmets, necklaces, purses, scarves or clothing with drawstrings while on playgrounds.
Know the Signs of Fracture - The symptoms of a fracture include swelling, redness, pain, deformity and joint stiffness.
Seek Specialists for Injuries - Pediatric orthopedists and radiologists are specially trained to correctly diagnose and treat injuries in children. If a child has been injured, observe her carefully and use good judgment. Always consult a pediatrician or other healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns regarding her injury; if the injury appears serious or life-threatening, call 911 and seek emergency medical assistance right away.
Source: Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and Safe Kids Georgia.