Tips to Keep Kids Safe at the Playground

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Doctors at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center want to make sure kids stay safe while playing on the playground.

One key to making sure children are safe is for parents to supervise their children closely when they are at playgrounds, advises Michael Gittelman, M.D., attending physician in the Emergency Department at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and co-director of the Comprehensive Children’s Injury Center.

"Adult supervision can greatly reduce the incidence and severity of playground injuries,” he said. “Parents can also make sure that their children use age-appropriate equipment and that they don’t engage in rough play while at the playground,”

Each year, over 200,000 children are injured on America's playgrounds. The majority of these injuries result from strangulation or falls.

Dr. Gittelman and the American Academy of Pediatrics give the following tips on how children can stay safe while playing on the playground.

Safety Tips

  • Children should be supervised at all times while at the playground.
  • Never attach or allow children to attach ropes, jump ropes, leashes, or similar items to play equipment.
  • On hot days make sure metal slides are cool to prevent children's legs from getting burned.
  • Before allowing children to play, inspect the playground for hazards such as broken glass, litter, sharp objects and broken equipment.
  • Make sure the playground is free of all tripping hazards, such as exposed concrete footings, tree stumps and rocks.
  • Make sure elevated surfaces such as platforms and ramps have guardrails to prevent falls.
  • Check the equipment for sharp edges or points that could cut a child’s skin.
  • Report any unsafe condition to the owner or operator of the playground (i.e., the principal of the school, director of the children’s center or director of the park).

About Cincinnati Children’s

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is one of just eight children’s hospitals named to the Honor Roll in U.S. News and World Report’s 2010-11 Best Children’s Hospitals. It is ranked #1 for digestive disorders and highly ranked for its expertise in pulmonology, cancer, neonatology, heart and heart surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, diabetes and endocrinology, orthopedics, kidney disorders and urology. Cincinnati Children’s is one of the top two recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health. It is internationally recognized for quality and transformation work by Leapfrog, The Joint Commission, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and by hospitals and health organizations it works with globally. Additional information can be found at

Contact Information

Danielle Lewis, 513-636-9473,