Skip to content

Children's Health

Backyard and Playground Safety

Keep your children’s fun safe by following these safety guidelines for backyard, pool, and playground
Font Size
A
A
A
By Dana Sullivan Kilroy
WebMD Feature

The backyard offers a world of fun for children. Playgrounds offer even more chances for adventure. But the fun can end abruptly when someone gets hurt. That’s one reason the American Academy of Pediatrics reminds parents to supervise children’s outdoor play, even at home.

To protect your kids from injuries, keep these backyard and playground safetytips in mind.

Recommended Related to Children

Helping Your Child Use a Nebulizer

Sometimes children’s allergy symptoms don’t stop with a stuffy nose and watery eyes. If your child has allergic asthma, the most common form of asthma, exposure to allergens like pollen and mold can cause breathing passages to become swollen and inflamed. Childhood allergies that trigger asthma can lead to wheezing, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing.  When that happens, your child’s doctor may prescribe the use of a breathing machine called a nebulizer. The following Q & A will...

Read the Helping Your Child Use a Nebulizer article > >

Backyard safety basics

Start by giving your backyard a once-over:

  • Check to see that your fences are sturdy and in good repair — free from splinters and rust — and that toddlers cannot open gates.
  • Store hoses after each use so children don’t trip over them.
  • Hang ladders in a shed or garage so children cannot climb or play on them.
  • Keep pathways clear of toys so that no one (including you!) trips over them.
  • Make sure children are indoors when you are using a lawnmower or other potentially dangerous tools such as a saw, hedge trimmer, or weed whacker.
  • Keep all garden tools out of children’s reach, and store them with tines, blades, or spikes pointing downward.

Playground safety

The key to playground safety is supervision.Unsupervised play is associated with 40 percent of playground injuries, according to the National Safe Kids Campaign. Keep an eye on your kids and put a stop to any pushing or roughhousing on playground equipment.

Here are some additional guidelines for playground safety:

  • Choose sturdy age-appropriate play sets, not swings and climbers that your child will “grow into.”
  • Install play equipment on level ground and make sure it cannot tip over.
  • Place equipment at least 6 feet away from walls, fences, trees, and other obstacles to allow for safe “landings.”
  • Use soft protective surfacing, such as wood chips, mulch, or rubber matting, under all equipment. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a 9-inch deep layer of protection that extends six feet beyond the equipment.
  • Check the equipment quarterly for wear, and repair loose, jagged or splintering parts. Also, make sure that all screws and bolts are tight — they can loosen over time.
  • Never attach ropes, jump ropes, clotheslines, or pet leashes to playground equipment. Children can strangle on them.
  • During summer, check play surfaces to make sure they are not so hot that they could cause burns.
  • Periodically check for equipment recalls with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. You can find their web site at http://www.cpsc.gov, or call 1-800-638-2772.

Today on WebMD

child with red rash on cheeks
What’s that rash?
plate of fruit and veggies
How healthy is your child’s diet?
 
smiling baby
Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
Middle school band practice
Understanding your child’s changing body.
 

worried kid
fitArticle
boy on father's shoulder
Article
 
Child with red rash on cheeks
Slideshow
girl thinking
Article
 

Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

babyapp
New
Child with adhd
Slideshow
 
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
Syringes and graph illustration
Tool