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Summer Tips From Nurses: Playground Safety

Gayle Morris, BSN, MSN
Updated June 15, 2022
    it's all fun and games until a child gets hurt. Pediatric nurses offer five tips on playground safety this summer.
    Credit: Getty Images

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    Playgrounds mean endless hours of exploration and fun for many kids. But they pose potential for injury if children aren’t properly supervised, dressed well, or are playing on broken or faulty equipment.

    Pediatric nurses offer five tips to caregivers on playground safety.

    1. 1

      Inspect Playground Before Children Play

      It’s important for caregivers to ensure that the equipment is not faulty and that unsafe behavior doesn’t ruin the day. Caregivers should inspect the playground before letting their children run off to swing and climb.

    2. 2

      Dress to Protect

      Because it’s easy to overheat in the sun, children should be dressed for the weather and have sunscreen to protect their skin. Check out these five essential tips from nurses on sun care this summer, too.

    3. 3

      Designate a Playground Supervisor

      Children of all ages need supervision on the playground, so caregivers should make certain that anyone entrusted with their children’s care is properly supervising and interceding when necessary.

    4. 4

      Make Sure Children Use Age-Appropriate Equipment

      Many playgrounds have equipment designed for children of multiple age ranges. When it comes to motor skills and muscle strength, some children develop more rapidly than others. Be sure that your child is using age-appropriate equipment and using it correctly.

    5. 5

      Review Playground Safety Before Playing

      It is also important to teach your child playground safety rules. For example, pushing and shoving on the playground equipment can be dangerous. The equipment should also be used properly. Children should not stand on the swings and should go down to slide feet first.

      Christine Russo, a board-certified pediatric nurse practitioner who works at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, warns that sliding down head-first can increase the risk of head injury.

      “Children should never go down the slide in a parent’s lap. This is associated with leg fractures and is commonly seen in emergency departments,” she says.

    Meet Our Contributors

    Portrait of Christine Russo, MSN, CPNP-PC, CPEN, TCRN, Pediatric Trauma Program Manager, Stony Brook Childrens Hospital

    Christine Russo, MSN, CPNP-PC, CPEN, TCRN, Pediatric Trauma Program Manager, Stony Brook Childrens Hospital

    Christine Russo discovered her love for pediatrics in the emergency department at Stony Brook University Hospital. She became a board-certified pediatric nurse practitioner in 2021 and works with the pediatric trauma program at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital and as an NP at a local primary care office.


    Portrait of Jenna Liphart Rhoads, Ph.D.

    Jenna Liphart Rhoads, Ph.D.

    Jenna Liphart Rhoads is a nurse educator and freelance author/editor. She earned a BSN from Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing and a master’s in nursing education from Northern Illinois University. Liphart Rhoads earned a Ph.D. in education with a concentration in nursing education from Capella University. Her clinical background includes surgical-trauma adult critical care, interventional radiology procedures, and conscious sedation in adult and pediatric populations. Liphart Rhoads has taught in traditional BSN, RN-BSN, and graduate nursing programs in Illinois, Texas, and Wisconsin.