- Check school or playground equipment to make sure it’s in good repair and well maintained.
- Check to be sure there are at least nine inches of shock-absorbing surface material around any playground equipment used by children.
- Consult the popular and informative CPSC Handbook for Public Playground Safety (PDF), which contains guidance for childcare personnel, school officials, designers, inspectors, parents and school groups on building safer playgrounds.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), each year more than 200,000 hospital emergency room visits are related to playground injuries. Most injuries involve falls onto the playground surface or playground equipment.
Bicycle Safety, Helmets And more
- Make sure a child wears a helmet that meets CPSC requirements every time he/she bikes or rides a scooter to and from school.
- Make sure the child’s helmet fits snuggly, level on top of the head, with a buckled chin strap.
- Make sure a child always wears a properly fitting approved helmet when riding skateboards or using roller skates, too.
- Buy a helmet that bears a label saying it meets the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard Z90.40 1984; the Snell Memorial Foundation standard B 90,B 90S, N 94, or B 95; the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard F 1447 93 or F 1447 94; or the Canadian Standards Association standard CAN/CSA D113.2 M89.
- Do not use a helmet after it has been involved in an accident. Damage to the helmet may not be visible to an untrained eye. Even very small cracks in the helmet may greatly reduce a helmet’s effectiveness in preventing injury. Either destroy the helmet and get a new one or have it inspected by the manufacturer. The manufacturer will tell you if the helmet needs to be replaced.
- See and be seen…Wear bright fluorescent colors during the day.
- Avoid biking at night…If riding at night, equip your bicycle with head and tail lights and wear reflective clothing.
- Stay alert…Keep a lookout for obstacles in your path.
- Go with the flow…Ride with traffic.
- Check for traffic…Be aware of traffic around you.
- Learn the rules of the road…Obey traffic laws.
- Assure bicycle readiness…Is your bicycle properly adjusted?
- Check brakes before riding.
- Check your wheels…”Quick release” wheels should be securely fastened.
CPSC staff has reports of an annual average of 80 children under 16 years of age who died in bicycle-related incidents in recent years. About half of the approximately 500,000 bicycle-related emergency room-treated injuries in 2008 involved children under 16 years of age.
- Make sure a child’s outerwear clothing does NOT have drawstrings at the hood or neck area — these can create choking hazards.
Since 1985, CPSC has received reports of 28 deaths and 71 non-fatal incidents involving the entanglement of children’s clothing drawstrings.
Movable Soccer Goals
- Make sure all soccer goals are securely anchored while in use.
From 1998-2008, CPSC has reports of at least eight deaths and an estimated 2,000 emergency department visits by children younger than 16 years of age that are related to soccer goal tip-overs and structural failures.
Recalled Toys And Other Products
- Check the CPSC’s website, www.cpsc.gov, to make sure children’s toys and other products have not been recalled.
- Go to the CPSC website and sign up for email alerts of CPSC recall announcements.
To choose appropriate toys for children:
- Be a label reader. Look for toy labels that give age and safety recommendations and use that information as a guide.
- Select toys to suit the age, abilities, skills and interest level of the intended child. Look for sturdy construction, such as tightly secured eyes, noses and other potential small parts.
- For all children under 8, avoid toys that have sharp edges and points.
A few tips about gifts and presents. Once the gifts are open:
- Immediately discard plastic wrappings on toys before they become dangerous play things.
- Keep toys appropriate for older children away from younger siblings or neighbors.
- Pay attention to instructions and warnings on battery chargers. Some chargers lack any device to prevent overcharging.
We invite you to explore the HELP RESOURCES page of our website and visit the sites identified there including those dedicated to protecting children.
AND REMEMBER, ALWAYS SUPERVISE CHILDREN at school, on play equipment, everywhere and anywhere. After all, they’re kids. Keep them safe.