TEACH CHILDREN TO PLAY SAFELY
Enthusiasm on gaining access to new play areas and equipment can often lead to injuries. When young children start at a new school or visit a park with friends, they may have access to equipment that poses more challenges. It is important for children to learn to play responsibly, however, active adult supervision is essential.
Teach children to use play areas and play equipment safely and to play suitable games. Let them think up a set of rules that they will agree to accept. Always stress why certain behaviours are inappropriate.
SAFE PLAY TIPS
- Play away from cars
- Play somewhere soft in case of falls
- Play somewhere made for children
- Use equipment properly
- Report damaged or broken equipment
- Play in the shade where possible and apply sunscreen - No hat no play!
- Stay out of the sun between 10am-3pm
- Look after friends, especially little friends
- Take turns
- Play gently without violence - pushing and pulling can cause falls
CHOOSE THE RIGHT GAME FOR THE RIGHT PLACE
A well-planned play area will include active, open and quiet areas. Encourage children to use these areas appropriately and respect the needs of others.
- Rough games should only be played where the ground is soft and there is nothing hard to fall on
- Ball games need lots of space
- Chasing games are better played away from other people and buildings
- Quiet games and boisterous games don't really mix
- Try not to spoil someone else's game with your own
Develop an orientation program for children beginning child care, pre school or school, or when children move from junior to senior play areas. Children should know where they will find an adult, especially in large play areas. All young children should be taught how to use their own home equipment safely.
- Stress why it is important to use equipment correctly and that boisterous behaviour contributes to injuries
- Let children know which areas are allocated for ball games, quiet play or 'no running' zones
- Rosters, or staggered play times prevents overcrowding on equipment
- Devise a safety plan to cope with vandalism hazards eg. broken glass, syringes, damaged equipment
- Implement a reporting system for broken or damaged equipment
- Always have active adult supervision to support responsible play
- Provide other options than fixed equipment during break times - create a gardening plot or play music
- Limit access on wet days to avoid slips and falls