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Health Tip: Check Your Child's Playground

Inspect carefully before play begins

(HealthDay News) -- Inspecting a playground before your children start swinging and sliding can help you identify potential dangers.

The National Safety Council offers these tips for parents:

  • Make sure playground equipment is surrounded by at least 12 inches of fill, such as sand, mulch or wood chips. Allow a 6-foot area of fill around a play set on all sides.
  • Check that any openings are less than 3.5 inches or more than 9 inches square to avoid trapping children.
  • Any raised platform should be surrounded by a guardrail at least 29 inches high for preschoolers, and at least 38 inches high for school-age children.
  • Inspect the playground for any raised areas that could trip children, such as tree roots, rocks or concrete footings.
  • Look for any sharp or hazardous objects, such as "S" hooks or bolts that stick out.
  • Only allow your child to play on age-appropriate equipment.
  • Carefully supervise your child at the playground.
  • Do not let your child wear clothing with hoods or drawstrings, which could get caught in playground equipment.
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