Staying safe on the playground

When determining if a playground is safe, the experts say you should look for a surface that’s shock absorbent, such as wood chips. That surface should be at least a foot thick. You should also inspect equipment when you go to a playground.

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- With the temperatures getting warmer, your kids will probably be spending more time outside...perhaps, at the playground.

Gundersen Health System says about 15 kids die nationwide on playground equipment each year.

Parents say they know bumps, scrapes and bruises can happen when their kids are on the playground.

“It’s concerning, but I have three boys, so it happens a lot,” said Amanda Janssen.

“Not too worried about it really. She gets plenty of those usually on her own,” said Jered Ludke.

“I don’t want them to happen, but I know there’s a chance that they will happen,” said Crystal Dixon.

Trauma and Injury Prevention Coordinator, Kim Lombard said Gundersen Health System sees about 60 to 70 kids come in with playground equipment related injuries each year.

She said falls are the most common.

“That best protection is supervision. You can avoid 45% of playground injuries with active supervision,” said Lombard.

“I always stay within eyesight of them,” said Janssen.

“Just keep an eye on her. She's pretty safe on her own,” said Ludke.

When determining if a playground is safe, you should look for a surface that’s shock absorbent, such as wood chips.

Lombard said that surface should be at least a foot thick.

You should also inspect equipment when you go to a playground.

“Looking for any missing pieces, broken parts,” said Lombard.

“Otherwise I ask them to avoid the broken area,” said Dixon.

Finally, Lombard said you should look at the height of playground equipment.

Younger kids should only play on smaller equipment.

“Considering if your child would fall there’s just less distance for them to fall, less chance of getting an injury. So you want to keep them on the most age appropriate equipment,” said Lombard.


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