Keeping Your Kids Healthy

Keeping Your Children Safe On The Playgrounds

As the month of August beckons students to return for school and school-related activities, our arrival at this point of the year also provides a reminder to parents that it is important to review the ways in which to play safely with their children before they enter the playgrounds at their schools. It will also be important to become actively involved in reducing the risks that your sons or daughters will experience a health issue when they are at playgrounds that reside in your neighborhood.

The crucial nature of avoiding accidents when your children are using the equipment and recreational areas both at school and near your home is underscored by the number of unfortunate incidents that continue to occur. While many of the injuries that emerge consist of bruises, and cuts, there can also be more serious consequences such as broken bones, sprains, strains, injuries to organs, and concussions.

Playground Injuries By The Numbers

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 200,000 children between the ages of 14 years of age or younger were treated for emergencies. Around 75% of these situations involved incidents with playground equipment, while 56% were related to fractures, contusions, or abrasions.

Over 20,000 of the children were treated for traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) which in many cases included concussions. TBIs were examined in a recent article concerning concussions that children encounter while participating in sports activities, and these develop due to blows to the head, or other forms of impact with the body that can cause the head to jolt suddenly.

TBIs occurred on playgrounds with greater frequency during weekdays, and the number of incidents rose significantly during the months of April, May, and September. Boys were involved in more playground-related TBI’s than girls, while the majority of children who were treated for this condition range between ages 5-9.

It was also noted that the majority of TBIs take place at school, which is also where children between the ages of 5-14 are most likely to experience this condition. Young children (0-4) incur injuries most often on swings and slides in their neighborhoods, while those who are between the ages of 5-9 and 10-14 experience the most accidents on swings, climbing equipment, and monkey bars.

Many complications develop as a result of falls, which are the leading cause of emergency situations, and are responsible for almost 80% of playground injuries. Loss of balance or being unable to maintain a grip on swings, monkey bars, merry-go-rounds, seesaws, and slides have repeatedly been the source of these injuries.

Reducing The Risk Of Playground Injuries

The CDC has also provided recommendations from the National Safety Council (NSC) regarding steps that parents can take when they are with their sons or daughters on playgrounds. First, you should examine the playground area for any potential hazards, which includes sharp edges on the equipment itself from bolts, hooks and other objects.

You can also search for potential areas in which your son or daughter could become entrapped, as openings between bars and rails should be between three and one half and nine inches.

All platforms that are 30 inches above the ground or higher should absolutely contain guardrails or barriers, while you should also check to ensure that at least six feet of space exist surrounding swing set areas and other equipment.

You should also examine the area surrounding any neighborhood playground to make sure that soft material is present surrounding all equipment. You can also watch for items in the play area that could trip your son or daughter, including tree stumps and rocks.

It is also recommended that parents take an active role in supervising their children during playground activities. At a minimum, this involves watching your sons and daughters at all times.

Supervision of your children is crucial, and it has been stated that the absence of proper supervision is responsible for around 45% of injuries that are related to playground activities. This is particularly important if they are engaged in climbing, swimming, or jumping, considering the many health issues that result from these particular activities.

Crowded playgrounds also provide the potential for more problems, and it is important to make sure that your children do not push or shove while they are in congested playground areas. Children under the age of five should also play in separate areas from boys and girls who are older.

When To Seek Medical Attention

If you suspect that your son or daughter has broken a bone then you should call 911, and any swelling, bruising, or extreme pain is an indication that a broken bone is possible, as is the inability to move normally. You should not attempt to move your child for any type of issue involving the head, neck, back, or if any bones have protruded through the skin.

If your son or daughter has displayed any indications of a concussion, then they are also in need of immediate medical attention. Symptoms of a concussion include a headache, nausea, vomiting, double vision, blurry vision, abnormal sensitivity to noise or light, confusion, sleeping problems, changes in normal behavior, and any feeling of having pressure inside his or her head.

Your child should also receive medical attention if any cut continues to bleed after 10 minutes. He or she should also receive medical attention the area of concern is large, or if there is any type of debris that is contained within the wound.

At Rapid Med Urgent Care Center We Can Help 

At Rapid Med Urgent Care Center, we want your children to enjoy their time on the playgrounds regardless of whether that occurs while they are at school, or while they are having fun in your neighborhood. If you have any questions or concerns about playground safety, or if you have questions about a health issue of any kind, do not hesitate to contact us. At Rapid Med Urgent Care Center, not only do we offer immediate medical attention for conditions that are not critical or life-threatening, but we also provide both primary and preventive care.

Our Primary Care 

  • After Hours Care Available
  • Continuity Of Care
  • Health Maintenance
  • Patient Education
  • Vaccinations

Our Preventative Care 

  • Alcohol Misuse Screening & Counseling
  • Atherosclerosis Risk Factor Modification
  • Blood Pressure Screening
  • Cancer Screening
  • Cholesterol Screening
  • Depression Screening
  • HIV-STD Screening
  • Immunizations
  • Obesity Screening & Counseling
  • Type 2 Diabetes Screening
  • Weight Management
  • Wellness Exams

In addition to visiting our offices at either location, you can receive the same great care and consideration by using our On Demand service through your phone, tablet, or computer.

Regardless of how you contact us, we can also assist you, or answer any questions regarding any of these other medical problems.

Our Urgent Care

Phil Clark
Phil’s experience as a writer enabled him to generate advertising and marketing material throughout his career in the television industry before he expanded his level of knowledge by creating various promotional elements for all forms of media in other industries. He has also produced articles that have been published in numerous publications and websites, including usatoday.com, and USA Today’s football magazine, where he wrote weekly columns and player profiles for multiple years. He has also worked with Photoshop, Illustrator, and Vizio, and has a BS in Broadcasting from Indiana State University.
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