Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Children's Hospital Logo
Connect With Us:

Monroe Carell Jr.
Children's Hospital
at Vanderbilt
2200 Children's Way
Nashville, TN 37232

(615) 936-1000

Children's Hospital Logo
Home / News and Events / Health Tips / Playground safety tips for spring
Printer friendly version of this page  E-mail someone a link to this pageBookmark and Share  Open RSS Feed
Playground safety tips for spring

Reviewed By: Andrew Gregory, M.D., assistant professor of Orthopaedics & Pediatrics, and Sarah Haverstick, Safe Children Program manager at Childrenís Hospital (Last Updated: April 25, 2013)

As the weather begins to warm, families begin looking for outdoor diversions, such as visiting a local park. Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt offers tips to keep playground visits safe and injury-free.

The Tennessee Department of Health reports that more than 260 children were treated in emergency rooms for playground-related injuries in 2011.

Andrew Gregory, M.D., assistant professor of Orthopaedics & Pediatrics, says that many injuries to young children occur on the playground. One of particular concern occurs when a child is placed on an adult’s lap to go down a slide.

“Parents may think they are protecting their child by sitting with them on the slide,” Gregory said. “However, the injuries we see are often the result of the child’s leg being pinned between the adult and the slide, which causes a fracture of the child’s tibia. It is much safer to let young children go down on their own and catch them at the bottom.”

Sarah Haverstick says that other common causes for playground injury include falls from equipment, such as swings or monkey bars.

“It is important to make sure the equipment at your playground is the appropriate size for your child,” Haverstick said. “Younger children may be tempted to use equipment designed for older kids, which may result in falls or other injuries.”

Haverstick offers the following tips to keep children safe.

  • Use only age-appropriate playground equipment. Many playgrounds will list age recommendations along with their playground rules.
  • Check the playground for hazards such as rusted or broken equipment, glass, or debris.
  • Choose, if possible, a playground with protective surfacing underneath equipment, such as sand, mulch, or rubber.
  • Use equipment appropriately. Only one child on the slide at a time, no lap-sitting, one child on each swing.
  • Remove head and neck drawstrings from your child’s outerwear to avoid strangulation hazards.
  • Teach children proper playground behavior – no pushing, shoving, or crowding on equipment.
  • Always supervise your children at the playground.

<< Back to health tips main page

Additional sites rich with information and resources on a variety of health conditions and tips include:

Health & Wellness Library

Growing up Healthy

Valued Participant of Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network