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Tuesday 23 Jan 2018

Playground safety


Article by Stephanie Ekis, MS, CCC-SLP

Since July is National Parks and Recreation Month it seems appropriate to discuss playground safety.  Whether you are visiting your local park or going into your own backyard, use these tips to ensure that you child will have a fun and safe playground experience.

Tip 1:     Look for playgrounds that are fenced in to keep your child safe if they feel the need to flee.

Tip 2:     Seek out a quiet space for your child to go if they become overstimulated.  This could be a little playhouse or a quiet bench.

Tip 3:     Find playgrounds that provide tactile activities.  Sandboxes, water fountains and play panels are both good options.

Tip 4:     To help your child with their vestibular and proprioceptive systems, look for items that your child can swing on and climb.

Tip 5:     Look for green spaces.  Research has shown that walking in nature may help with attention.

Tip 6:     Make sure that your child has a way to communicate with others.  A small communication wallet with symbols of important things works very well on the playground for children who are non-verbal or who have limited speech.

Communication wallet

Tip 7:     Download the Outside Summer Safety social story and read it to your child.

Tip 8:     Create a safety plan.  Make sure that you child has identifying information on their body just in case they get lost.

Tip 9:     Make sure that the play surfaces are safe.

Tip 10:   Choose times of the day when the playground is a bit quieter with fewer children.

Information adapted from:

TARA PARKER-POPE (2008). A ‘Dose of Nature’ for Attention Problems


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