HOHENFELS, Germany -- With the arrival of spring, children and parents head to the outdoors and the playgrounds for fun and exercise. Yet playgrounds carry inherent risks, especially with the varying weather here in Bavaria.
To alert parents to some simple precautions that can help ensure an accident free playground visit, the USAG Hohenfels Installation Safety Office has designated April 26 as "BMC Hohenfels Spring Safety Day."
According to "S.A.F.E. Play Areas," by the National Program for Playground safety, more than 200,000 children each year suffer serious playground related injuries that require emergency medical treatment, with $1.2 billion spent on treatment. Tragically, an average of 15 children die each year in playground related injuries.
While visiting the playground, parents and teachers should remember the acronym S.A.F.E., which stands for Supervision, Age-appropriate design, Fall surfacing, and Equipment maintenance.
Each of the four components is equally important and plays a significant role in playground safety. Parents and teachers are required to supervise children and should be able to see them at all times during play.
Children being children, if the playground is not challenging enough for them, they may engage in "horseplay." The individual supervising should stop unsuitable behavior on the playground to ensure the children's safety.
Additionally, the supervisor should be familiar with hazards such as age-appropriate design of equipment, maintenance of equipment, defective equipment, entrapments and material depth.
Finally, they should inspect the playground to ensure it is free of litter such as sharp objects or broken glass. It is the community's and tenants' responsibility to stop unsafe acts or behavior on the playground. Doing so will keep our children safe.
Contact the USAG Hohenfels Installation Safety Office at DSN 466-4626 or Civ. 0162-296-1927 for further assistance on playground safety.