If you have kids at home, chances are you spend lots of quality time at the playground during the summertime. And why not? Kettering’s playgrounds are close to home, fun and FREE! Our playgrounds are designed with safety in mind, but there are still some steps visitors should take to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable, worry-free experience. Check out these five quick tips for a safer day at the park.
- Check the temperature of playground equipment. According to the National Recreation and Park Association, playground equipment that receives direct sunlight can reach temperatures of up to 130 degrees. Temps that high can cause second-degree burns, so double check that slide before letting your littles on board. If it feels too hot for you to touch, it’s definitely too hot for a child – kids’ skin is more sensitive than adults’ skin. Always err on the side of caution – when in doubt, keep your kids in the shade!
- Wear shoes. The ground heats up in the sun just like playground equipment, so shoes are a must to protect feet from heat. Closed-toe shoes are ideal on the playground to better keep rocks and other foreign objects at bay. Sandals and flip-flops are also not a great choice for running around – kids are more likely to trip and fall over a flip-flop than over a properly tied sneaker.
- Supervise carefully. Sitting on the bench while the kids go down the slide for the ninetieth time can be pretty boring. We know. But don’t lose yourself completely in your book or phone or conversation. Look up or, better yet, walk around periodically to make sure everyone’s getting along and no one’s attempting backflips off the monkey bars.
- Stay sun safe. Don’t leave the house without sunscreen. Make sure everyone reapplies according to package directions, as well as dresses for the weather in light-colored clothing, sunglasses and hats/visors. Bring water or have your kids take frequent breaks at the water fountain. It’s easy to forget to hydrate when you’re running around having fun, but drinking plenty of water is a must.
- Watch the weather. Know before you head out if a heat advisory is going into effect. If a summer storm crops up, head for the car or a nearby indoor location until it passes. With their metal equipment, playgrounds are very dangerous places to be during a lighting event. Rainwater makes everything slippery, too – keep an eye on this especially if your kids are young and not confident walkers yet.
Have you explored a new playground yet this summer? Check out the full list of Kettering’s parks and discover something new!