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Avoiding Face-Related Injuries: 3 Tips For Keeping Your Child Safe At The Playground

One of the main worries that parents have regarding their children is something happening and them getting hit in the face, which could result in a cracked or knocked-out tooth, skin laceration, fractured cheekbone or something even more severe. You may be able to keep a very close eye on your little one while at home to prevent any type of face-related injuries, but it may not be so easy for you when you head to the local playground. There are over 200,000 children 14 years old and younger who get injured on the playground every single year and treated in the emergency room. Here are a few tips to help you keep your child safe while at the playground:

1. Inspect the Facilities

Take the time to closely inspect the playground and all of its play equipment. From trash floating around to rusty equipment, there are many potential dangers at the local playground. These potential hazards could easily lead to your child falling and suffering a concussion, fractured skull, broken or knocked-out tooth or even a broken jaw. For an inside-the-mouth injury, a dentist may have to perform a root canal, aesthetic restoration of some sort or the replantation of a tooth that was knocked out.

You should report any unsafe conditions to the city department, school or other entity responsible for playground maintenance. If you see something that is particularly unnerving and feel like your child would not be safe, find another playground or go home and make up your own fun games.

2. Pay Attention to Your Child's Clothing

When your child is playing, you need to make sure that they are not wearing really loose clothing. You need to also make sure that they are not wearing open-toed shoes. Their shoelaces also need to be tied tightly – ultimately, in double knots. This is especially true on a playground where there are little nooks and crannies for pieces of clothing and shoelaces to get caught in. Otherwise, your child could trip over their shoelaces or fall because their shirt got hung on something, resulting in your child falling and hitting their face, which could easily result in the front two teeth being knocked out. This can then negatively affect your child's speech (even if it is temporary) and their self-esteem. Therefore, being properly dressed for playground play can significantly help reduce the chance of an unnecessary physical or dental injury.

3. Keep the Weather in Mind

Although some kids can handle it, many kids hate being stuck inside because of the rain. So, when it stops raining, they're ready to go. Unfortunately, after it rains, the playground equipment will likely be extremely slippery. When your child is running and slips because of a wet surface, your child goes down fast. In most cases, they are unable to prevent themselves from falling because even their hands slip when trying to catch themselves. This can lead to soft tissue facial injuries to the skin and gums, facial bone fractures, fractured jaws or even damaged facial nerves. With that being said, you either need to stay close to the kids while they're playing or opt for something less dangerous after the rain.

When all else fails and an injury to the face does occur, make sure to contact your doctor as well as your dentist immediately. The sooner you can get treatment for your child, the better the chances of a successful recovery. For more information on treating potential injuries, contact a doctor with a practice like Gulf Shores Family Medicine.