Think your children are safe playing outdoors? Think again! Safety watchdogs in the US are warning that a backyard or playground can be a very dangerous place
The US public Centres for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 200,000 children under 14 are treated in hospital accident and emergency departments every year following playground accidents.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission points out that only 26 per cent of these accidents occur at home, but that is still 50,000 hospital visits per year out of a population five times that of Britain. More worryingly, 90 per cent of deaths from outdoor play accidents occur at home.
Home climbing frames and swings are less likely to be properly anchored to the ground or installed on a soft, protective surface.
Most parents are lulled into a false sense of security, believing that their children are safe if they are nearby — less than 25 percent of parents pay close attention to their kids on play equipment at home, according to a survey conducted by the Home Safety Council in 2008.
Outdoor play is fun and healthy for youngsters, and should be encouraged. A few cuts and bruises are an inevitable part of growing up. But one should always take care that children play safely.