Grounds for safe play

Sujata C

play-safe-3 Anyone would think a playground is a harmless place. But it is the most common place for injuries considering that children are energetic and carefree when on a playground. Children need all the physical and mental stimulation they get through play. Therefore, when providing natural play environments for children, safety is of paramount importance.

Every year more than 20,000 cases of playground injuries are reported in the United States. There is no such data available for any of the developing countries, including India. However, according to a study on parental awareness of childhood injuries published in the Indian Journal of Pediatrics, the most common cause for injuries among children in India is falls. The study further says that the maximum number of children vulnerable to injuries during play is between 5 and 14 years of age.

Many of the injuries that occur during play are easily preventable. The playground can be checked for likely dangers that can cause accidents. Adult supervision is a pre-requisite for younger children who are unable to foresee hazards during play. Older children too are at risk when they try to show off to their friends or test their own limits while negotiating the bars of a jungle gym or other play equipment.

The author is a freelance writer based in Hyderabad. She can be reached at sujata117@yahoo.co.uk.

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