Parents are frequently on the pursuit of keeping children safe, whether it is in the car, at home, or at school. And today, in light of National Playground Safety Week, there’s never been a better time for schools in our community to realize the importance of child safety. But amazingly, this California has opted out of the program.

Let’s spread the word – we want National Playground Safety Week!

Did you know each year approximately 15 children die from unsafe or hazardous playground equipment? Even more staggering is the fact that 200,000 children are treated for personal injury from unsafe playgrounds, according to the National Program for Playground Safety.

As a safety ambassador to the San Diego area, I encourage you to contact your schools and let them know you stand up for kid safety.

Tips for encouraging playground safety at your school

Talk to your child’s principal, and even offer a few days of volunteering throughout the year. Most importantly, ask your child’s principal to contact the city council and petition for participation in National Playground Safety Week. You may want to mention the following tips in the meantime since they go a long way for maintaining child safety.

Ask for more supervision during play time

Tell the school principal that you’d like to see more hallway monitors and recess attendants. Nothing can be more effective at maintaining a safe environment than more eyes watching your children. Also, children of different ages should have separate playing areas. Ages 2 to 5 should play in a different area than children between 5 and 12 since both groups have different playing styles and abilities.

Ask for improved surfaces

Playgrounds have come a long way since they used to be made from hard concrete surfaces. Now, playground materials are shock-absorbing and soft – a big improvement over rock-hard surfaces that can break bones, cause head injuries, and even cause catastrophic events like spinal cord injury or paralysis. Playgrounds should be covered at least 1 foot deep with soft materials like shredded rubber, rubberized asphalt, or wood chips. If your child’s playground is outfitted with grass and soil, these are still too hard to absorb shock if your child falls – ask for improved surfaces that are up-to-date and prevent injury.

Download the Playground Safety Checklist

Ask your child’s principal to walk around the school campus with you and the Playground Safety Checklist. This “safety report card” will bring to light any potential safety hazards including equipment with missing or broken parts, guardrail requirements, the posting of playground rules and much more. As you walk through the school with your child’s principal, using the “safety report card” can truly shine light on the importance of National Playground Safety Week.

When accidents happen, use a reliable, experienced source of help

Unfortunately, children are hurt on playgrounds every day. Most commonly, children experience serious injury from falls during climbing, swinging, overhead ladders, and slides. And of these accidents, 15 percent are considered severe or debilitating. When accidents like these happen, it’s important to talk to experienced legal counsel who can walk you through the process of recovery for your child’s serious injury including recovery for medical bills, pain and suffering, or a loss of quality of life. Call the Law Offices of Michael Pines at 1-858-551-2090 or contact us online if your child has been injured in a playground accident.

For more information on National Playground Safety Week

If you’d like to find out more about National Playground Safety Week, log onto http://www.playgroundsafety.org/ for tips on getting the program approved in our state. Let’s band together as San Diegans and bring National Playground Safety Week to California. It’s more important than ever to spare children from needless injury. Let’s do our part to avoid accidents and make a difference.

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