Health Tip: Check Your Child's Playground

(HealthDay News) -- Inspecting a playground before your children start swinging and sliding can help you identify potential dangers.

The National Safety Council offers these tips for parents:

  • Make sure playground equipment is surrounded by at least 12 inches of fill, such as sand, mulch or wood chips. Allow a 6-foot area of fill around a play set on all sides.

  • Check that any openings are less than 3.5 inches or more than 9 inches square to avoid trapping children.

  • Any raised platform should be surrounded by a guardrail at least 29 inches high for preschoolers, and at least 38 inches high for school-age children.

  • Inspect the playground for any raised areas that could trip children, such as tree roots, rocks or concrete footings.

  • Look for any sharp or hazardous objects, such as "S" hooks or bolts that stick out.

  • Only allow your child to play on age-appropriate equipment.

  • Carefully supervise your child at the playground.

  • Do not let your child wear clothing with hoods or drawstrings, which could get caught in playground equipment.