Child Injury Prevention (Ages 0-6)

Playground safety

Introduction

Why is playground safety important? Less than 5 children 0-9 die from playground injuries each year. However, three hundred and twenty nine (329) children age 0-4 and nine hundred and fifty-four (954)children age 5-9 were admitted to hospital as a result of a playground injury (2010/11). Playground injuries are the second leading cause of injury hospital admissions, after falls in general.As stated in Lesson 1, Introduction to Child Injury Prevention, these admissions are just the tip of the iceberg as many of these children are only seen in a emergency room or at a clinic, andare not admitted to hospital.

Playground injuries are preventable.

Primary messages

The images and messages depicted are the most common ways that children 0-6 are injured in playgrounds. Visit the Images section for each topic to view and download the images with their corresponding messages.

How to use the images?

These images can be useful in starting discussion about what caregivers know about how to prevent injury and to problem-solve around the barriers they encounter in keeping their children safe.  The images can also be integrated into other resources that you create, such as posters, calendars, displays, etc.

Program examples and evaluation tool

These playground safety examples are based on best practice and share activities that groups have done or could undertake.

Following documents are available for download :

Supplementary messages and resources

  • Playground surfaces need lots of sand, pea gravel, wood chips or other recommended surfacing to cushion children when they fall.
  • Keep your young child off equipment that is higher than 1.5 meters (5 feet).  Children are more apt to break a bone if they fall from a higher height, particularly if the surface is packed down or not deep enough.
  • Young children need to learn physical skills when playing, and will challenge themselves to learn new skills..    Children 5-9 like to take chances and need to feel they are doing so, in order to gain self-confidence.  Caregivers need to be ready to step in if the child is in danger, but should not “hover".

For additional messaging and information visit the Playground Safety section of the Parachute website.

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Endnotes

Public Health Agency of Canada analysis of 2009 mortality data from Statistics Canada and 2010/11 hospitalization data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information. (This is the most recent data available.)