Summer is finally here, and it’s time to head to the playground and park. Safekids Aotearoa and Starship Foundation want every child to be active this season and avoid unnecessary stays in hospital.
Every day 11 children are hospitalised because of a serious fall injury. “These are not small scrapes, sprains or bruises, but injuries involving children falling and not getting up‐‐such as serious breaks, spinal injuries and traumatic brain injuries,” said Ann Weaver, Director of Safekids Aotearoa.
Serious fall injury is also a major economic burden. ACC claims costs from child falls amount to $45 million per year.
Don’t let a serious fall injury ruin the fun for your child and the whole family this summer. Below are playground and park safety tips to help children stay active and injury free.
- PUT THE PHONE DOWN: Remember that it’s social time with the kids, NOT social media or Facebook time in the park. Active supervision won’t be hard – The kids will be calling you to watch them play, climb, jump and swing, so join in the fun!
- SOFT SURFACING: Check that playgrounds have well maintained shock absorbing surfacing. When your children fall, they are less likely to be seriously injured landing on rubber, synthetic turf, sand, pea gravel, wood chips or mulch.
- KEEP IT AGE APPROPRIATE: Many playground injuries involve preschool children falling off playground equipment that is too big for them. Big kids can also get injured when they play with equipment for preschool kids. Watch out for age appropriate signs and use good sense to determine if the play equipment is suitable for your child.
- LOOK FOR HAZARDS: Keep an eye out for rusted, broken or vandalised equipment, sharp and pointed objects (such as glass and exposed nails) and dangerous surfaces. Report these to your local council immediately.
- DRESS APPROPRIATELY: Necklaces, purses, scarves or clothing with drawstrings can get caught on equipment and strangle children. Even helmets can be dangerous on a playground, so save those for their bikes.
For more falls injury prevention tips, visit our falls injury prevention page.
09 631 0717