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Playtime is an integral part of a toddler’s development. Once they have mastered crawling and walking, their innate desire is to explore the area around them at their own free will, for it is in this exploration that they develop their co-ordination and derive enjoyment from play.
However, whenever your toddler is at play, it’s essential to keep an eye on them, especially if it is at a public playground where other children could be playing, or if the equipment has potential safety flaws. While the risk of a child falling and hurting themselves is a clear danger, a lot of playground injuries or fatalities arise from more subtle dangers like nets and ropes which have gaps in which the child could unwittingly strangle themselves. This risk becomes higher for small children under the age of three, as they are more likely to get caught between a small space than older children whose physique has further developed.
The responsibility for ensuring the safety of children on playgrounds lies equally amongst parents or guardians, the providers of the play equipment and the party charged with managing the playground. Parents should check that equipment on a playground is safe before allowing their children to use it, while it’s important to advise them on how to behave on a playground. Equipment manufacturers must ensure that their products meet safety standards while playground management have a responsibility for maintaining a safe play area.
This infographic from Crowe Sawmills discusses playground safety in further detail and is recommended reading for parents with small children.