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Safety Tips For Babysitters: Keeping Outdoor Play Areas Safe
- Standing, rather than sitting, in a swing
- Climbing to the top of the swing set and sitting or swinging on it
- Jumping off or in front of swings, seesaws, or gliders
- Walking in front or in back of a moving swing
- Putting too much weight on a piece of equipment and toppling it
- Look for damaged equipment or fixtures that have hidden hazards (like a sandbox with broken glass).
- Make sure rails, walls, and fences are secure.
- Limit children to equipment that suits their age.
- Keep children a safe distance from one another.
- Make sure the slide is not in direct sunlight, especially if it's metal.
- Don't let them hang or swing upside down, or go headfirst down a slide. It will help reduce the risk of a head or neck injury.
- Keep your eyes on the children at all times. Falls and accidents can happen quickly. You may not be able to prevent one if you're distracted.
Explain the following hazards:
- Walking in front or in back of a swing
- Pushing other children off of the swing
- Swinging empty seats
- Twisting the swing chains
- Climbing up the front of the slide
Facts About Children and Drowning
Ways to Prevent Drowning
- Never leave a child alone with any body of water, such as a pool, bath tub, or spa.
- Do not allow a child to swim alone. You should be within arm's length of infants and toddlers who are swimming. You should know how to swim, be able to rescue someone, and do CPR.
- Remember that even a child who knows how to swim is still at risk for drowning and will need constant supervision.
- Do not allow children to play around the pool.
- Be sure that all gates or doors leading from the house to the pool area are locked.
- If the pool is above ground, remove the ladder to prevent access.
- Empty wading pools and buckets when you are done using them. Also, if you are babysitting small children, keep the lid on the toilet down and the bathroom door closed.
- If you discover a child to be missing, first check the pool, wading pool, spa, or hot tub.
- Know the telephone numbers to call for emergency medical service.
National Safe Kids Campaign http://www.safekids.org
United States Consumer Product Safety Commission http://www.cpsc.gov
About Kids Health http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca
Canada Safety Council http://www.safety-council.org
Babysitting: Playground safety. Nemours Kids Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/teen/babysitting%5Fcenter/tips%5Fadvice/babysit%5Fplayground.html. Updated February 2014. Accessed March 12, 2014.
Babysitting: Pool safety. Nemours Kids Health website. Available at: http://teenshealth.org/teen/babysitting%5Fcenter/tips%5Fadvice/babysit%5Fpools.html. Updated: April 2013. Accessed March 12, 2014.
Safety on the playground. American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy Children website. Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-play/Pages/Safety-on-the-Playground.aspx. Updated December 3, 2013. Accessed March 12, 2014.
5/28/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Weiss J, American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention. Prevention of drowning. Pediatrics. 2010;126(1):e253-e262.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 03/2013
- Update Date: 03/12/2014