Playground First Aid: What You Need to Know

Featured Article, Growth and Development, Health and Safety

Regular trips to the playground are a great way for your children to burn some energy while socializing and exercising their imaginations. As most parents know, playgrounds present many injury opportunities, from minor bruises and scrapes to stings and sprains. Creating a playground first aid kit specifically for playground outings can help prevent mishaps from cutting playtime short. Protect your kids from serious injuries by stocking your play area with a playground first aid kit. Here’s what you’ll need:

Cuts and Scrapes
An obvious choice, adhesive bandages are usually one of the first things included a playground first aid kit. Scrapes and cuts can be a frequent occurrence during high-energy play sessions, especially on playgrounds where there are sharp edges and any combination of wood, metal and gravel. In certain situations, the traditional adhesive bandage style may not get the job done. For this reason, be sure to include a variety of bandage styles, including triangular and even tubular ones, so you can bandage anything: knees, elbows, fingers or toes. To stop the tears and make sure your child is ready to re-join the fun, look for fun bandages that feature characters, sports and the like.

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You should also set aside a bit of room in your playground first aid kit for gauze and rubbing alcohol, too. Keeping cuts clean, especially when they occur outdoors, is crucial for a quicker healing time and preventing infections. You’ll want to include an antiseptic wash to further clean the wound, especially for cuts that are a bit deeper. Some antiseptic washes will even help relieve pain, which is a bonus that will help get your child back in the game. An anti-bacterial cream, gel or spray should also be included to apply after the wound is clean. While a deeper cut may mean leaving the playground and (maybe, but hopefully not!) a trip to the hospital for stitches, immediately ensuring that the area is clean will help kick-start the healing process.

Burns, Bites, Stings and Allergies
The best days for the playground are sunny and warm with a nice, pleasant breeze. As nice as it can be, this sort of weather can also come with sunburns, insect stings, bug bites and even seasonal allergies. Since you will be outdoors, it’s important to consider these elements when putting together your playground first aid kit.

For burns, you’ll want to include a topical burn ointment or spray. While there probably won’t be a fire at the playground today, metal rails and handles are exposed to the sun all day long and can become very hot. Minor burns may occur when your child grabs or rests an arm on these surfaces, which will require treatment. A sunny day also means the threat of sunburns; so don’t forget sunscreen for prevention and aloe for treatment.

Another topical cream to include in your playground first aid kit is one for the unfortunate event of a bug bite or sting. Bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, fire ants, mosquitoes and ticks are common at playgrounds, and being ready to treat a bite or sting can go a long way.

For outdoor allergies, including itchy eyes and runny noses from pollen or ragweed, or more severe reactions, you’ll want to include moisturizer, decongestants and nasal sprays, antihistamines and Vaseline. Allergies can range from a slight annoyance to an all-out crisis, and you’ll want to be prepared.

Other Supplies to Pack
Any leftover space in your playground first aid kit can be dedicated to items that will cover a range of uses. Since many playgrounds have parts that are made of wood, and bugs and insects are ever-present, splinters and stingers stuck in your child’s skin will require a pair of tweezers. You should also be sure to include a bottle or package of ibuprofen to relieve the pain your child may experience in any potential playground injury.

And lastly, while it may not be the first thing that comes to mind, a pair of scissors is always handy and a great things to include in your kit. Scissors are useful for cutting gauze, tape, shoelaces, medicine packaging or clothing. And if nothing else, you’ll be prepared for freezer pop season!

So, are you prepared to save the day and keep the fun going no matter what the playground throws at you? Put your playground first aid kit together in a durable and portable container that is easily accessible, and you’ll be ready to protect your kids from playground hazards so they can focus on having fun.

David Reeves is Marketing Manager of Playland Inc. in Carrollton, GA. Playland Inc., is a total solutions manufacturer and supplier to many industries, with its roots deep in the park and playground markets including churches, schools, and day care centers. It has developed into the only company in its field to offer direct to all of its customers, the ability to purchase commercial playground equipment, shelters, shade, water slides and site amenities. Connect with SII on LinkedIn or Facebook.

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