Guest post contributed by Hannah Whittenly
Playing outside is a favorite activity for many children, and it is a healthy way for them to spend their free time. After all, when they are running around and playing actively outdoors, they are getting plenty of exercise, and they are exposed to fresh air and sunshine. However, children can easily get injured or harmed in other ways when playing outdoors if they are not in a safe, secure place. These tips will help you to create an ideal outdoor space for your children.
Enclose Their Space
Ideally, your children will play in an enclosed outdoor area, such as a fenced backyard. A fenced perimeter confines them to a specific area so that they do not wander off. More than that, it can keep intruders and wildlife away for the enhanced safety of your children.
Provide them with a Covered Play Area
While exposure to some sunshine is good for children, exposure to the elements in excess can be unhealthy. For example, they could easily get a sunburn if they are in direct sunlight for too long. You also need to think about rain and other elements. A smart idea is to install an awning over your patio to give your children a covered play area.
Choose Age-Appropriate Play Items
One way children may commonly be injured while playing outdoors is by playing with outdoor items that are not age-appropriate. For example, a tall slide is not appropriate for a toddler because there is a good likelihood that the young child will fall off of the ladder or slide. Periodically, review your play equipment and toys to ensure that they are age-appropriate, and keep their play items up-to-date as they grow.
Think About the Surface of the Play Area
A final and important aspect of outdoor safety relates to the ground’s surface. If possible, consider investing in a softer or cushioning ground covering. For example, using sand or mulch chips in the area surrounding an outdoor playscape is a smart idea. In the event a child falls off of the equipment, this type of surface will be softer to land on and may prevent injuries.
As fun and healthy as it can be for children to play outdoors, they can easily get injured if the area is not safe and secure in multiple ways. Spend time today analyzing your children’s outdoor play area with these factors in mind, and make appropriate changes as necessary to protect them going forward.