Playground Strangulation Hazards

Did you know that from 1982 to 1995, ten children between the age of two and ten died in Canada when their clothing or drawstrings got caught on playground equipment or fences?

Did you know that by the end of 1995 in the U.S.A., most clothing manufactures had eliminated drawstrings from children's clothing?

Playgrounds pose special dangers for strangulation incidents.  As in most cases involving injury to children events can take place in the blink of an eye.  Playground fun should be closely supervised.

Playing Safe

Children should be taught to play safely and to use playground equipment appropriate to their physical development.  Parents and caregivers should inspect playground areas for unsafe or broken equipment before allowing the children to play.  The following suggestions will help parents, caregivers and children bring safety into play:

    * Always remove cords and drawstrings, and tuck in all clothing that can strangle a child.
    * Five children between the age of four and ten died when they became entangled in ropes or skipping ropes attached to playground equipment. Always remove ropes and skipping ropes tied to slides and playground equipment.
    * Loose clothing, hoods, scarves, drawstrings, mitten cords, ropes and skipping ropes can get caught on playground equipment or fences and strangle a child!
    * Zip up the child's jacket.
    * Make sure gaps in equipment cannot snare a child's clothing or body. 
    * Although helmets are important pieces of protective equipment, be aware of the dangers of wearing them on the playground.  Strangulations have occurred because helmets have became trapped between rungs on climbing equipment. 

From: Kids for Keeps by Martin Lesperance, Kids for Keeps Ltd., Cochrane, AB.  and Playground Safety Tips from Health Canada.