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A Call to Playground Supervisors What can you learn from Slyde

March, 2013

Every child has the capacity and innate need to play. This desire to play is built into genes of every living being. When children play they are fully alive. They can experience and express themselves completely.  Our role as grown-ups is to provide the setting, of which safety is an important part, and then get out of the way. How we “set” up the “setting” is easy when you leave the role of teaching playground safety to Slyde the Playground Hound.

In this issue of The Essential Slyde Newsletter: 

  • A Call to Playground Supervisors; What you can learn from Slyde
  • Strangulation Hazard Still Exists Even After Federal Law Prohibits it
  • Coloring Page: Tuck it in or Take it off
  • Slyde Toon Story order activity 
  • Buddy up - Always play on the playground with a friend. 

A Call to Playground Supervisors What you can learn from Slyde

Soon the weather will start to improve and more children will be gathering at schools and local parks to play on the playgrounds. Knowing that children are safe while playing gives parents and teachers peace of mind. Are we really teaching our kids how to be safe while still having fun? Or do we assume our children are going to always make safe choices. Children learn best through experiences but eliminating serious injuries is an experience children can live without.

When children take ropes to the play equipment or have drawstrings on their jackets they are running the risk of seriously harming themselves and others. Ropes could potentially be wrapped around children’s necks or other extremities causing them to choke or get other serious injuries. Teaching your children and other adults about these risks can only help protect them while they play.   

Every year there are reports of children being injured by strangulation and choking. These types of injuries can easily be avoided. Having worked in childcare for over seven years I have found that some people and businesses do not take precautions to avoid these types of accidents. At a child care center I have worked at I was the Health and Safety Coordinator. I found that there were very minimal rules that where being enforced on the playground structures. Children were allowed to bring jump ropes, helmets, and other rope like activities on to the play structures. Letting the children do this increased the chance of the children being strangled, choked or hurt in other ways. As the Health and Safety Coordinator I was able to educate and enforce rules that prevented the children from being seriously injured. As easy as it is for children to harm themselves on playgrounds it is equally easy to educate children of the dangers and how to play safe but still have fun.

As a friend of Slyde the playground hound we have learned that if you tuck your stings in or take them off you are eliminating the risk of being strangled or choked on a playground. So help educate your children and others before it is too late. 

Strangulation Hazard Still Exists Even After Federal Law Prohibits It

Federal law requires manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of children’s clothing to report any defective products that could create and unreasonable risk of serious injury or death. Recently, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, CPSC, issued a $450,000 Civil to the Bon-Ton Company, manufacturer of children’s upper outerwear, for failure to report that its children’s hooded jackets and sweatshirts were sold with drawing strings through the hood.

Children’s upper outerwear with drawstrings, including jackets and sweatshirts, pose a strangulation hazard to children. CPSC and three US Importers announced recalls of children’s jackets and sweatshirts, through the hood on February 18, March 10, and May 27, 2010. Bon-Ton Company was a retailer of about 800 total jackets and sweatshirts in all three recalls. Since 2006, the CPSC has regarded as defective and presenting a substantial risk of injury to young children, all children’s upper outerwear with drawstrings at the hood or neck.  For more information visit,  http://cs.cpsc.gov/ConceptDemo/SearchCPSC.aspx?query=drawstring.

Improper use of playground equipment or lack of maintenance can lead to unintentional injury that could be prevented if children obtain basic playground safety awareness skills and grown-ups keep playground equipment well maintained.

The Play and Playground Encyclopedia dedicates an entire article to the discussion of clothing with drawstrings that may catch on equipment and a child can become entangled.  http://www.pgpedia.com/c/choking-and-strangulation

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