Jumping, climbing, sliding, laughing, giggling, swinging and running are all things children like to do. Usually they do these things outside where moving their bodies and using outdoor voices are expected and encouraged by grown-ups.
Maybe you remember a time you were outside doing some of these things on a playground in your backyard or at your school? Use your imagination to remember what the playground looked like. Did the playground have swings, slides, or climbing rocks? Were you there with a friend, a brother, or a sister?
Perhaps you remember a time you were at the playground having a good time when suddenly someone got caught, trapped in a toy, and couldn’t get out. Maybe this even happened to you. Maybe you pinched your finger or got your leg trapped and couldn’t get it out. Ouch!
Imagine someone you know getting their head stuck in a piece of playground equipment. What do you think might happen if they couldn’t get out? What if this happened to you? Do you think they might get scared? Getting scared is the way our minds react when our bodies are in danger. Getting trapped on the playground, also called “entrapment”, is something that doesn’t happen very often. So when it does happen, it can make you scared, because you don’t know what to do.
Here are some things kids can know and do to avoid getting trapped in a piece of playground equipment:
If you have been wearing a bike helmet while riding your bike to the playground, always take it off when getting on the equipment.
If you have loose clothing or jewelry on, you should “Take it off or Tuck it in™”.
If you or someone you know does get a body part caught, try not to panic; call for help.
Remember to “Buddy up™”. Always go to the playground with a friend and/or a grown-up, so if you do get caught on something, you have a friend that can help you or that can call for help.
Don’t take things on the playground equipment that are not attached or part of the equipment itself. This would include skateboards, snow sleds, ropes, etc.
Figure 4 of CPSC Public Playground Safety Handbook, page 14