2Playgrounds and backyards

Playing outside — an important and fun part of childhood

Injuries from outdoor play equipment are one of the most common reasons children visit emergency rooms each day.

Play equipment such as slides, ladders, climbing structures, and swings are great fun but must be used appropriately under supervision.

Playing safely on the playground means:

Siblings Swinging --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis



That kids are playing on stable equipment: rickety or rusted equipment can collapse and cause injury.

There are appropriate ground surfaces in the case of a fall: tan bark, wood chips, grass, sand or other impact-absorbing material – not concrete.
You are in an enclosed play area where children can’t run away.
That children, especially toddlers, are very well supervised where there are high drop-offs on equipment.

That baby swings have an appropriate belt to prevent falling out while swinging.

A few more tips

  • Ouch – that’s hot! On a sunny day, metal or plastic slides can get very hot and burn little legs. Be sure to check with your hand before putting a child on equipment.
  • Don’t allow eating while running or jumping to prevent choking.
  • Stay within arms reach of younger children to prevent falls from ladders, slides and other climbing equipment.
  • Be careful when walking near swings – if children are in motion, they can hit and injure someone walking by.  Always walk far from swings.


installation-step-11    tramp_1

Trampolines are a great way for kids to burn off energy and have fun. However, whether in a backyard or at a public play area, caution must be taken to avoid serious injury  from a trampoline.

Watch this video about staying safe on trampolines

Video courtesy of The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) and Kidsafe


  • Only allow one child on a trampoline at a time.
  • Be sure there is padding and a safety net for trampolines to avoid falling off or getting caught in the springs.
  • Supervise children at all times while jumping on the trampoline.
  • Check that the trampoline is free of holes or loose springs.
  • Clear any overhead or surrounding objects that could cause any injury while jumping.


Girls Playing With Hop BallsA few more tips for staying safe in the backyard

  • Provide proper supervision: most backyard injuries happen to children under 5 whilst they are not under proper supervision.
  • Ensure that there is an enclosed, safe area for children to play in the backyard – you do not want children to be able to run off the property and into the street.
  • Block off access to swimming pools,  driveways, construction zones and areas with animals.
  • Check that toys and play equipment are in good condition, without sharp edges.
  • Keep children away from gardening  equipment – lawnmowers, shovels, rakes, and hedge clippers.
  • BBQs and grills should also be blocked off from children, as they pose a risk of burns.
  • Bonfires and fire pits need supervision by adults to avoid burns or spreading of fires.