Outdoor play is an essential part of growing up. Outdoor games play a pivotal role in a child’s overall development. Games played outside the comfort of home assist in physical and psychological development of a child. However, outdoor games that are known to boost the social skills and attention span of children can also lead to serious problems. The reason? The outdoors are not always the safest place. Even simpler outdoor games that don’t involve a lot of physical effort might boost the motor skills of a child but the environment in which they are played can be injurious. This is why educators, parents, and guardians need to undertake some precautions when sending at toddler out to play. The list of things that you need to check for safe outdoor playing includes
1. Assess Overall Health of Game Area
When your child is involved in indoor games, you tend to be carefree but the moment a child steps out of sight it is about equipping the kid with some survival skills. This has to be combined with surprise visits, smart supervision, and a precautionary approach. Choose game areas that are frequented by families rather than grounds that bring hoards across every age group. Playgrounds or parks that are family-friendly are bound to have more parents and guardians who are more likely to be as vigilant as you are—more supervision without actually paying for it. There is a growing incidence of playing areas within gated societies, areas around schools, and even in supermarkets. Use these facilities but with some caution. Always check the type of safety measures in place. This means the presence of security personnel. Secured entry & exit points are vital while any free rid should be handled by someone who can help during an emergency.
2. Create Boundaries – Visually and via Reminders
While hide & seek might make you nostalgic, it can lead a kid into dangerous alleys. Ensure the kid understands the restrictions of exploring the outdoors. This means you have to spend a few minutes with the kid, clearly pointing to where the boundary is set-up. This could be in the form of a garden fence or a line of planters. Make the kid understand that stepping beyond this area is dangerous and can lead to getting no chocolates for next, few weeks. Make some house rules. For instance, trying to enter any water body can be a strict no-no.
3. Create a Red Flag Strategy
The mention of hopscotch brings back memories of sidewalk chalk lines. However, things have changed. The neighborhood is no longer as secure. Outdoor playing areas that border a curb, parking area, entryway, gateway, or park-in zones can prove dangerous. You have to make the kid understand that playing near these areas is strictly prohibited. Similarly, taking the game to a nearby, busy street should not be allowed. Playing near gates that are secured with electrical systems can never be safe. Make the kid understand that these playing spots are red flags – things you will just not allow. Climbing, jumping, and swinging is inherent part of outdoor play. However, overindulgence can lead to accidents. Ensure there are red flags against jumping across rocky surfaces or trying to climb a tree surrounded by hard ground. Clearly instruct about not approaching/petting any animal unless you are a part of the exercise.
4. Outdoor Surfacing Matters
Children will fall, slip and skid. You cannot take this out from their growing-up years. All outdoor gaming space should be checked for slippage, presence of sharp objects, cracks, sinking spots, and soft underground that can topple kids. While playing outside is also learning to cope-up with small challenges like irregular playground surfaces, too much of a hard landscape can mean real harm. Not just the actual playing area but ground surface around the swings or benches too should have some insulation to soften the impact of a fall. Today, artificial surfaces are commonly seen in dedicated playing areas. However, during the rainy/wet season, these too can be risky.
5. Playing Equipment Needs Some Introspection
Broken playing equipment can lead to serious accidents. If the children rides have too many sharp or pointed corners, try to keep your kid away from them. Some outdoor games might insist upon using basic safety like small helmets. Try to follow the instructions as this also preps the kid about personal safety choices. Playing areas that have too many hanging ropes or cables can prove risky, creating the possibility of strangulation-type accidents. Similarly, stairs meant for kids to climb should be in optimum condition, not creaking or cracking. Some playing equipment might be located in spots that are open to the sun. During summers this might not be the best choice as prolonged exposure can make small children sick.
6. Safety from Bugs, Mosquitoes, Insects
It doesn’t matter if the surrounding appears alright visually; there is always a chance of hidden diseases that can affect the health of your child. Bugs and mosquitoes are carriers of diseases such as yellow fever, malaria, dengue fever, Lyme disease, and plague. To safeguard your kids from such life-threatening disease, it is important to have insect repellant clothing. Although, there are a lot medium to ensure the safety of your child from disease-carrying parasites, mosquito repellant outfits for your kids keeps you tension-free and lets them enjoy outdoors more.
Wishing your kid happier outdoor play!
It is always said and has been proven with researches and studies that outdoor activities for kids enhance their personality and transforms them into a better social being. Undoubtedly, the constant fear of safeguarding your child against external threats is a great concern. By checking the outdoor playing spot and providing your kids with dependable protection against insects can keep you worry-free. Contemporary manufacturers today offer different safety measures that can protect them from diseases like malaria and dengue – ensuring that the children are safe while playing outdoors.
When not writing, she loves testing her quadriceps. Squat rack & gym floor fear her presence on train-hard days. A creative poetess, she rhymes about Life & things that surround her. View her work on Instagram..