Each year, approximately 200,000 children ages 14 and under suffer school playground-related injuries serious enough to require a visit to the emergency room. Nearly half of these injuries (45 percent) occur on school playgrounds, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Nancy White, a certified playground safety inspector (CPSI) and a manufacturer's representative of playground equipment and site amenities, believes parents, schools and communities need to know what can happen on a playground to prevent problems from arising. She offers this checklist for assessing playground safety:
If you see a playground hazard, contact the school principal. And remember, it's important that an adult is always keeping an eye on kids on the playground. Ask about the student-teacher ratio during recess. Approximately 40 percent of accidents result from lack of supervision.
Georgia Orcutt is an associate editor with Boston Parents Paper and Dominion Parenting Media.
© Parenthood.com, used with permission.
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