How to Keep Your Children Safe on Playgrounds During Winter
As a parent, you know that winter can be a challenge. On the one hand, the weather is pretty harsh, and you certainly can’t keep the kids outside all day. On the other hand, you don’t want them to get bored staying inside doing the same things all the time. Finding a balance is essential, which probably means taking them outside to play on occasion. So how do you keep the kids safe when you do venture out for a trip to the playground? The following tips should help.
Think About Clothing
You are obviously going to carefully consider your child’s clothing before taking them out in the cold. However, you need to think about the function of that clothing in a playground environment, in addition to its ability to add warmth. For example, if you put your child in ski pants made of a nylon material, they may zoom down a slide at a faster-than-safe speed. Also, it is important to avoid articles of clothing which could catch on playground equipment in a dangerous manner. A perfect example of this is a scarf – if a scarf were to catch on a piece of equipment and tighten around the neck, a very serious situation could develop quite quickly.
Take a Look Around
When you first arrive at the playground, take a moment to inspect the equipment and ensure that it is safe to play. One of the key things to watch for is ice. If there is even a thin layer of ice on the surface of the equipment, children could slip-and-fall in a dangerous manner. You might be able to chip away small spots of ice, such as on handrails, but larger patches may mean that you simply need to find something else to do for the day.
How’s the Ground?
As you know, modern playgrounds are designed with surfaces specifically intended to provide a soft landing in the case of a fall. Rubber surfaces are popular, as are things like wood chips. Unfortunately, these options are not always as effective during the cold winter months. Walk around the playground and see what kind of condition the ground is in at the moment. If it is rock-hard due to freezing weather, you may need to skip the playground for the safety of your kids. Or, at the very least, you may need to limit them to activities which will not lead to a painful fall onto frozen ground.
Supervision is Key
There is nothing which can replace the supervision of your kids as they play. Keep a watchful eye on them, monitor their activities, and make sure they are making good decisions. It is important to put your phone away at a time like this, as being distracted for even a moment or two can lead to trouble. Along with keeping them safe, you will find that it is much easier to have fun as a family when you are paying attention and engaged with their activities.