The days are getting longer and warmer. Summer is just around the corner, which means more time for children and families to spend playing outdoors.
As the temperature rises, so does the risk of injuries from outdoor play. To help keep summer safe and fun, the Consumer Products Safety Commission published a burn safety awareness fact sheet, which provides important safety tips for the playground:
- Toddlers and younger children should always be supervised on the playground, no matter what the season
- Extra caution should be used with metal as well as plastic and rubber equipment, as all materials can get especially hot in the summer
- Adults should check the temperature of the equipment and surfacing before letting children play on the playground
- Proper attire should be worn while playing on playground equipment (i.e. pants and shoes)
- The outdoor temperature doesn’t always correlate with the temperature of playground equipment; even in mild weather, as long as the equipment or surfacing is in direct sunlight for an extended period of time, there is a risk of sustaining a thermal burn injury
Planning a playground in a warm climate? Communities and schools in the process of designing new play spaces should consider shaded areas in their design. Placing a slide in a naturally shaded area could help prevent burns from equipment. Positioning the slide facing north will also help reduce temperature gain.
Spending time outdoors is usually a wonderful experience. What tips do you have for keeping your family safe when spending time outdoors?