Many types of playground equipment require some form of climbing. Climbing equipment comes in all manner of sizes and shapes. They include jungle gyms, arches, rock climbing walls, and vertical and horizontal ladders such as those used for slides and monkey bars, to name a few. While these playground devices are usually safe, there are some tips that parents can implement to make them even safer.
One tip is to always make sure that the child can get down in case he or she is unable to make the full climb. This often occurs when children are too young to play on a particular device.
For younger children, the best safety advice is to have an adult present who can watch the children.
When your child gets to the age where he or she is tempted to use climbing equipment, take some time and instruct them to use both hands while climbing. It is also important that they be taught to not get too close to the person who is climbing in front of them. This is often a problem on devices such as slide ladders or monkey bars. When you are deciding if your child is old enough to use a particular device, such as monkey bars, make sure that they can drop from the bars without hitting the equipment on the way down. Teach your child to land with his knees bent and to land on both feet.
Accidents on climbing equipment can also occur when too many children are on the device at the same time or when too many children are on one side of the device, which may cause it to tip over. Parental supervision is the best remedy for this problem.
Parent can also teach their children to always watch for those climbing up as they are climbing down.
Children younger than 5 may not have the upper body strength necessary for climbing and should only be allowed to climb on age-appropriate equipment. Pre-school children should only climb up to a maximum of 5 feet. School-aged children should be restricted to 7 feet.
Teaching your children about safety on playground climbing equipment is the best preventive measure that you can take to help keep them safe.