Playground Safety for ADHD Kids
Playgrounds and parks provide fresh air, fun, and lots of exercise – which is great for hyperactive children diagnosed with ADHD. But the wrong playground can also pose safety hazards if parents aren’t aware of playground safety measures. Every year, nearly 300,000 children get into accidents on the playground due to improper surfaces, faulty equipment, and careless behavior.
As you’re probably aware, children with ADHD tend to be more accident-prone than the rest because of their impulsive behavior and hyperactive tendencies. That’s why it’s important for you to keep your child safe in the playground. Here are a few things you can do.
Supervise your child
You can make sure your child stays safe by supervising your child or making sure than an adult is around to keep an eye on the kids. Adult supervision prevents injuries by making sure that kids use playground equipment properly and don’t do unsafe activities near other children. This is important because young children have difficulty gauging distances; older children, on the other hand, like to test their limits on playground equipment. Even if an adult can’t prevent injuries, at least he or she can administer first aid immediately or take the child to the emergency room.
Dress your child in play clothes
Make sure that your child doesn’t wear long necklaces or hoodies and pants with drawstrings. They can lead to injuries by catching onto equipment, or accidentally strangle a child.
Evaluate the fall surfaces
Approximately 70% of playground injuries are due to falls. One way to prevent them is to make sure that the fall surfaces of playground equipment are properly cushioned. Make sure that the surfaces around swings, seesaws, and slides are softened using wood chips, sand, mulch, pea gravel, or rubber. Concrete surfaces are unsafe, and so are grass or soil-packed surfaces; regular wear and tear can reduce their cushioning capacities.
Teach your child about playground safety
Safe equipment and adult presence is important, but they’re not enough to prevent injuries. The other half of the equation is for your child to know how stay safe at the playground. Some basic playground safety rules you can teach are:
Use the equipment properly – don’t stand on swings, slide feet first, one child per seat on the seesaw, etc.
Don’t push other kids while on the slides, swings, seesaws, or jungle gym
Before jumping down, make sure that there are no children in the way. Always land on both feet with knees bent slightly.
Don’t use playground equipment after rain; the moisture will make the surface slippery.