Tips for keeping children safe at the playground, despite the heat

Every year, 200,000 children are injured while having fun on the playground, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

COLUMBIA, SC – The summer heat is not only warming the weather, but also making playground equipment hot. This means children can burn themselves using slides and monkey bars.

Every year, 200,000 children are injured on playgrounds, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Friday is Allison’s birthday. To celebrate, she wanted to go to the park with her mom, Alexis Harris.

They come to play and have fun, but Harris says she knows it’s also a place where her daughter could get hurt.

“I’m still here with her,” Harris said. “I’m not leaving her alone. And make sure she’s safe and I’m constantly watching her and she needs to come back and check in with me.”

Dr. Jeff Holloway works in pediatrics at Prisma Health Midlands.

“It’s very easy as a parent myself to get caught or miss something that could definitely prevent some pretty serious injuries that we’re seeing unfortunately,” Holloway said.

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These injuries can vary in severity.

“Most of the time the playground will cause simple injuries like scratches and bruises, but you definitely see serious head injuries and broken bones from these accidents on the playground,” he said. -he declares.

To avoid these accidents, there are a few things you can do.

Christopher Santino is a Playground Safety Inspector for Richland County Recreation Commission. He regularly inspects the county’s parks and playgrounds.

“It’s paramount: safety,” he said. “When it comes to the pitch, that’s my priority, that’s my goal, that’s my mission.”

Latashi Jones works with Santino as the commission’s head of risk and security. She inspects playgrounds daily.

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“We’re looking for tangles, we’re looking for where kids might have pinch points or pressure points or something in the safety gear,” she said. “We look for flaws like something missing, broken, protruding…”

All this to protect children.

“Be aware that slides are not designed to be thrown, swings are not designed to be jumped, so just use the playground as it was designed,” Santino said.

He says it’s also good to avoid wearing helmets, lanyards, hoodies or long necklaces that can get caught in gear.

“Helmets are a great thing in general, but a helmet and a playground don’t mix.” he said. “You might think that the helmet protects in some way, but in reality it can be very harmful.”

Also, heat exhaustion is something to watch out for, says Holloway.

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Jada Proctor-Bates came to the park with her son. She says she pays attention to the weather to make sure he doesn’t overheat or burn himself.

“When the equipment is hot, we usually cool off because I bring his balls and that’s something we’ll play,” she said. “He’s learning to catch right now. And I always have his water and his water bottles with us, so it’s something to help him cool down.”

If you’re unsure if the gear is too warm for kids, Santino says you can always test it yourself.

“Ask the custodian, parent, camp counselor, teacher, person responsible for supervising the children to walk around and touch the equipment to make sure it’s not hot,” Santino said.

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Harold B. McConnell