Kids enjoy spending time outside, especially in an area where they can meet with other kids and have fun. This makes playgrounds a prime location for you to take your child. However, playgrounds have potential dangers, so it’s important to teach your child to stay safe even if you can’t see them.
Handling a Dangerous Situation
You child could potentially face a dangerous situation while at a playground. These dangers will vary based on the situation, but it’s key that your child knows what to do if something happens. It’s important for you to talk with your child and to identify different plans for dangerous situations.
Spend some time with your child and talk. Ask questions: What do they worry about while at playgrounds? What do you worry about? How can your child avoid any potential dangers? What does your child want you to do while you’re out and about with them? Consider these questions and develop different plans for different situations with your child.
Communication will help your relationship to grow while keeping your child safe. Discuss these different plans with your child so that you can both enjoy yourselves while avoiding any potential dangers.
Creating a Secret Safe Word
You should talk with your child and establish a safe word. Safe words provide your child a way to inform you about a dangerous situation if they can’t explicitly state that they are in trouble. It works well to keep your child safe while keeping you informed of any dangers that you can’t immediately see.
The secret safe word should be something uncommon and something that your child will remember. Talk with your child about it and see what word they want to use. It should be something simple so that you can both remember it. Make sure that the safe word works for both of you.
Helping a Child That’s Hurt
While you can provide help for your child if they get hurt, you should also teach your child how to handle a situation where someone else gets hurt. A child may become shocked in the situation and not know what to do to help another child. It’s important to discuss this with your child to avoid any potential problems.
Let your child know to inform someone they trust about the situation. If the hurt child is in serious danger, have your child inform come to you about the situation or notify another adult who is around. However, make it clear that they should never leave with another adult to get help.
When someone gets hurt, it can be scary for your child. However, your child needs to know how to handle an emergency so that both the hurt child and your child remain safe.
What to Do If They Get Lost
Your child may not know what to do or where to go if they lose track of you or wander too far. This could lead to other potential dangers or problems. You should talk with your child before they go off and play so that you can establish a landmark for them to return to if they get lost.
The landmark should be clearly visible and distinct from other parts of the park. It’s best if you stay at or near this landmark as much as possible. If you need to move for some reason, make sure to keep it in your line of sight. This will help you to notice if your child comes looking for you.
Make sure that your child has a way to contact you if they get lost. Encourage them to keep the landmark in sight, but if all else fails, teach them to yell your first name instead of “Mom” or “Dad” so that you’re immediately alerted.
It’s impossible to be completely vigilant at all times. Teaching your children how to make safe decisions, empowers them to be alert and notice their surroundings. Similarly, it can help to remain attuned to the environments in which your children play. Assess the park equipment and facilities carefully. Do the playground structures look safe and clean? Are there security barriers in place? Although this is not an exhaustive list, these tips will put your mind more at ease regarding the comfort and security of your child.