When it comes to physical activity for kids, playgrounds offer plenty of fun opportunities. But for all their advantages, they also pose several risks, including broken bones and traumatic brain injury. Having seen the internal damage that these accidents cause, the MRI technicians at Main Street Radiology in Queens, NY, offer a few key tips to help keep young children safe.
MRI Technician’s Guide to Playground Safety
1. Keep Your Eyes on Young Ones
Whether your child is playing in a public park or on a jungle gym in the backyard, it’s important to keep a vigilant watch on their activities. By keeping a close eye, particularly on kids four or younger, you can stop accidents before they happen and respond quickly when they do.
2. Install Gates & Guardrails
If you’re setting up a play area in your backyard, you can take many precautions to help your child avoid the risk of falling. For example, stair gates block kids that are too small from climbing up dangerous areas. It’s also important to choose equipment that has secure guardrails along the edges of high platforms.
3. Slide Right
When kids are feeling adventurous at the playground, they may try to use equipment in a way that wasn’t intended—like climbing up slides. To protect your child from slipping or getting hit by someone who’s coming down, enforce rules that make them aware and mindful of these dangers.
4. Avoid Wet Equipment
It’s best to avoid play areas after it rains or in the early morning when dew is present. Moisture increases the risk your child will slip and fall, especially if they are playing on a plastic or rubber surface.
5. Choose Soft Surfaces
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most falls occur at home or at playgrounds. Although it’s best to minimize risks from the start, it’s also important to choose a place or setup that has a softer surrounding material. Good choices include shredded tire, wood chips, sand, or mulch that is at least a foot deep.
While these tips reduce your young one’s risk of injury, if they get hurt, the professionals at Main Street Radiology will provide emergency assistance and follow-up with MRIs to check for brain damage, skull fractures, and broken bones. Visit them online to learn more about their many services, including mammograms and bone density testing, or call 718-428-1500 to schedule an imaging appointment.