When children are in school all day, their outdoor activities can be just as important as their indoor ones. Keeping children active not only helps them in their general health but will also help keep them focused in class, making them less likely to have extra energy that they are unable to use up. Playgrounds and outdoor playground equipment allow children to have fresh air, socialize with and make friends, as well as exercise. The playground allows them certain freedoms and interactions with others that they can’t always have when doing work within the classroom.
Looking after children in a classroom are tricky enough for teachers, so how do they cope with so many children running around outside? The children’s safety has been put in their hands and it is up to them to keep them out of harm’s way. Children can end up injured and even in hospital if they and their playground equipment are not properly monitored and supervised. Ensuring a playground is safe should strike a balance between allowing the children to have fun and freedom but in safe and controlled environment. The playground can still be entertaining and safe for the children, simply by teachers checking equipment for potential hazards on a regular basis.
Other helpful hints include:
● Schools ensuring that faulty equipment, uneven surfaces, and dangerous or bullying behavior do not affect what should be a positive experience for the children.
● Teaching and educating children on how to play safely can be very helpful as they will then have an awareness of what may cause them harm, and so hopefully helping to prevent potential accidents. However teachers may wish to remember that they are still children and may be unable to foresee some dangerous situations.
● Simply by having an adult presence should remind the children to play safe and if any accidents do occur, the adults can either foresee this or assist when it happens.
● Being aware that children may be taking risks as part of their play can be important, and managing this may be necessary.
● Checking to make sure teachers can clearly see the children when playing on all the equipment is also helpful.
● Teachers may wish to assess that the playground equipment uses proper surfaces and are suitably designed and spaced. The quality of the playground surface will affect the number of injuries that occur if children fall from the equipment as well as the severity of them. The surface under the school playground equipment should be soft and thick so as to soften the impact if a child does fall.
Taking a few simple steps before, during and after the children are playing can make all the difference. Children will hurt themselves when playing, the job of the teachers should be to minimize the number of accidents and injuries, the severity of them and to assist the children if an accident does occur. The children have been entrusted to the teachers and if everybody does as much as they can to prevent, minimize and deal effectively with accidents then the playground can continue to be a fun but safe environment.
About the Author
Sarah Makinson enjoys being outdoors and blogs regularly for a range of different lifestyle sites, including Timberline.