Keep Safe During Play
The American Academy of Pediatrics offers the following recommendations for outdoor summer play:
On the Playground
• The playground should have safety-tested mats or loose-fill materials (shredded rubber, sand, wood chips, or bark) maintained to a depth of at least nine inches. The protective surface should be installed at least six feet (more for swings and slides) in all directions from the equipment.
• Equipment should be carefully maintained. Open "S" hooks or protruding bolt ends can be hazardous.
• Swing seats should be made of soft materials such as rubber, plastic or canvas.
• Never attach - or allow children to attach - ropes, jump ropes, leashes, or similar items to play equipment; children can strangle on these.
• Make sure metal slides are cool to prevent children's legs from getting burned.
• Take your child with you when you shop for the bike, so that he or she can try it out. The value of a properly fitting bike far outweighs the value of surprising your child with a new one.
• Buy a bike that is the right size, not one your child has to grow into. Oversized bikes are especially dangerous.
• Your child needs to wear a helmet on every bike ride, no matter how short or how close to home. Many accidents happen in driveways, on sidewalks, and on bike paths, not just on streets.
• When purchasing a helmet, look for a label or sticker that says the helmet meets the CPSC safety standard.
• A helmet should be worn so that it is level on the head, not tipped forwards or backwards. The strap should be securely fastened, and you should not be able to move the helmet in any direction. If needed, the helmet's sizing pads can help improve the fit.
Skateboards, Scooters, In-line Skates, and Heelys
• Children should never ride skateboards or scooters in or near traffic.
• All skateboarders and scooter riders should wear a helmet and other protective gear; wrist guards are particularly important.
• While in-line skating or wearing Heelys, be sure to wear appropriate protective equipment and only skate on designated paths or rinks, not on the street.
For more summer safety information, visit www.aap.org.