Most parents will tell you that raising kids is very different today than it was when they were growing up. In many ways, that’s true. Consider how kids spend their free time:
Children today have so much of their time outside of school occupied by structured activities that parents need a separate datebook just to keep up with their kids’ daily schedules.
Even though a lot of aspects about raising kids have changed, a lot of parts are just as parents remember them. One of those aspects is the importance of the playground. Even with competition from video games and streaming video, the playground remains one place kids are sure to congregate.
That’s a good thing, too, because playgrounds offer children the opportunity to get some much-needed exercise as well as kick-start other areas of their intellectual and social development.
Although playgrounds remain as popular with kids today as they did in generations past, playgrounds themselves have changed somewhat over the years, particularly when it comes to safety. Whereas playgrounds of the past featured concrete or asphalt underneath many of them, today’s versions are far more likely to feature soft wood chips or recycled rubber to cushion falls. Metal slides have given way to plastic ones that don’t heat up to dangerous levels under the sun. Swing sets often include special swings that will safely hold toddlers without allowing them to slip off the seat. However, just because playgrounds have become safer over the years doesn’t mean parents don’t have to worry about playground safety at all.
Teaching kids how to use playgrounds safely and inspecting equipment to look for potential hazards are responsibilities parents should take seriously, even as playgrounds become safer, in general. In doing so, parents can help ensure that their kids gain the full benefit of everything playgrounds offer them. Consult the following checklist the next time you take your kids to the playground, and you can make sure they’ll have a fun day with their friends, just the way you did when you were a kid.
“Playground Safety Checklist courtesy of Merrillville Personal Injury Lawyer Keneth J. Allen Law Group”