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Health Tip: Playground Safety

Take these precautions

(HealthDay News) -- Spring is almost here, and for many parents and children, it means back to the playground for some fun and fresh air. But danger could lurk in the shadows for children under age 15.

The Brain Injury Association of America cites brain injury as one of the top 10 diagnoses stemming from playground accidents. Nearly 20 children die each year from such injuries; more than half of them resulting from strangulation and about one-third from falls. Most of these injuries happen on the swings, monkey bars or climbers and slides -- nearly 70 percent involving public playground equipment.

Here are some suggestions to keep your kids safe:

  • Since more than 60 percent of all playground injuries are caused by falls, make sure there's a protective surface under and around all playground equipment. These surfaces can include at least 12 inches of wood chips, mulch, sand, pea gravel or mats made of safety-tested rubber or rubber-lie materials.
  • Watch for potential hazards, including ropes or strings on clothing that can cause accidental strangulation.
  • Make sure play structures more than 30 inches high are spaced at least nine feet apart.
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