How to Ensure Your Child’s Playground is Safe


Playing is an important part of a child’s development. It is key in ensuring that children are healthy. The backyard is an important place from where the children can play as it ensures they are within the confines of the homestead. That said, however, there have been many accidents on these backyard playgrounds with some of them being fatal. Annually, there are in excess of 190,000 children who are taken to emergency rooms as a result of injuries acquired on playgrounds. As such, it is important that you take the necessary precautions to ensure that these backyards remain safe for children’s play.in this article, I will be relaying as much information to you on enhancing your children’s safety at the playground.

It is important that the playing equipment remains safe at all time. In light of this, you should ensure that all the playing equipment is installed on a level ground. This is to ensure that the equipment can’t tip over- as this could cause accidents.

Most backyard playgrounds feature swings. They are an integral part of kids’ play equipment. It is thus important to ensure they are safe. This can be achieved by ensuring that the swing seats are composed of soft rubber as opposed to hardwood. Rubber offers adequate cushion which would come in handy in preventing injuries as a result of using the swing. All protruding bolts on these swings should also be covered as they could cause injuries.

Slides are also very attractive to kids. They will play on them for hours upon hours. That said, there is an important safety factor you should put into consideration before installing them- their height. The slides should be at most six feet high if they are to be used by school-going children and at most four feet high if they are to be used by preschoolers. This is in a quest to avert the risk of kids getting injured from falling off while climbing up to the slides.

All platforms as well as ramps or ladders must always bear adequate guardrails. This is key in avoiding accidents of children falling off the platforms. So, before you let the kids climb up the ladders or platforms, ensure they are equipped with adequate guardrails for safety.

It is important that you regularly check all the equipment on the playground for wear. This is to ensure that the equipment remain safe at all times to avoid accidents that might be brought about by their failure.

As kids grow, they advance from one set of play equipment to another. In light of this, it is important that you ensure the equipment the kids use to play on the backyard playground coincide with their age. All the swings as well as climbers should be age-appropriate and not ones that the kids are to grow into.

Supervision is what I would consider key in ensuring that your kids remain safe on the backyard playground. Always keep an eye on them as this will help you put a stop to any dangerous play. It is important to note that unsupervised play contributes to in excess of 40% of all playground related injuries.

With this information, I hope I have addressed some of your concerns on ensuring your children’s safety at the playground.

Outdoor Fun Activities for Young Families


1. Hiking – Hiking is a healthy and beneficial activity for the whole family and the kids, it not only keeps the whole family fit and reduce health issues for both kids and adults, this exercise offers great adventures. The whole family can get out to the fresh air and explore Canada’s hiking trails. Canada offers great scenes in most of its hiking destinations from beaches, rain forests to mountains. Families will find this the best time to connect with each other as they tackle the challenges of reaching the set destination. Kids can learn how to set goals and work towards achieving them through hiking, additionally hiking helps them build their confidence.

2. Camping – Camping can be instrumental for a young family as it offers bonding time. Families work together, cooking, hiking, fishing and roasting marshmallows. This time is also essential for kids as they learn life skills such as building fires and cooking. The whole family also gets to enjoy the fresh air and open skies. Canada offers beautiful destinations that are free or discounted, this sites offer plenty of beautiful trails, mountains and forest to explore. An adventure in camping is an unmatched time for the family free from PCs, phones and TVs.

3. Fishing – Fishing is not online an important skill for the family but also a fun activity. Although fishing in Canada will require you to have a fishing license, it’s very much worth it. Fishing is among the 12 activities promoted by Ontario Children’s Outdoor Charter that strives to get kids outdoor and active. The education and experience your kids will gain from this activity will live with them forever.

4. Road tripping – Road tripping across Canada is a great way for young families to travel and see Canada with all its rich destinations, one of the most famous route is Vancouver to Tofino, British Columbia. This trip offers mountains, coastlines, lakes, an 800 year old trees and much more. There are plenty more routes families can choose from and they all have something special to offer. Families need only to choose which route offers what they like and wish to see.

5. Kayaking – Most people find Kayaking a complicated water activity but it’s not, even infants can kayak with the right guidance. Families can find this a great way to spend their day or weekend outdoor and in the water. It is also known to be healthy and promote fitness as you paddle through the water. It offers a great time in the water for the family. Popular destinations include Vancouver Island, Rocky Mountains and Yukon.

6. Ranching – Horseback riding, fishing, rafting and plenty more are all the activities families can enjoy in a ranch. Ranching offers a great experience for the whole family. It is a get a way for the whole family, getting away from the hassles of the city, school, work and tech gadgets. A ranching experience allows the family and especially the kids to get in touch with nature and learn about the country side. Canada offers numerous ranches where young families can visit in their vacation.

7. Skiing – Canada is famous for skiing because of its snowy winters and it is quite clear why this activity attracts millions every year. Skiing is a fun packed activity for the whole family offering a majestic way to be out in the environment, kids can enjoy playing in the snow when they are not skiing as well as ice skating. Skiing is also great exercise for kids keeping the kids fit and having fun.

8. Biking – Biking might well be the least expensive outdoor activity young families can engage in, although families with kids cannot go for long distance the short distances are still worth it. In Canada the Ontario waterfront trail is most famous to take a relaxing bike ride. Families looking for a more challenging experience can go for mountain biking in the Grandiose Mountains. Whatever the destination chosen the whole family is promised loads of fun and a great feel out in nature.

9. Canoeing – Canoeing is a thrilling action packed activity that will surely get the whole family excited and scared at the same time. The Bowron lakes circuit is one of the best canoeing destinations. Canoeing offers a break from the daily hassles of life offering a spectacular time in the water. Families have been canoeing for years some famously known for making a cross country trek from Edmonton to Montreal. Young families can be involved in this by simply renting a canoe and learning about canoeing from a guide.

10. Rock climbing – This can be well incorporated with mountain given the many mountains in Canada, although this can be a bit dangerous for kids with the right precaution it is a perfectly safe activity. Destinations such as Lake Louise, Canmore and Banff, Alberta offer mountain climbing for kids as young as 10 years. This is a great activity for the whole family to get engaged in offering intense exercise and outdoor playtime.

About Goodwin Park

History
Goodwin Park was founded in 1895 and designed by Frederick Law Olmsted who was born in Hartford in 1822. Mr. Olmsted had also previously designed New York City’s Central Park and Bushnell and other parks in Hartford. The Park was named for the Reverend Francis Goodwin who was an early advocate for the Hartford Parks system. At 200 acres it is the second largest park in Hartford after Keney Park.
The large 90 acre central area in the park was originally left open and unmowed and was known as the Great Meadow. The meadow was first disturbed in the 1920’s when the central part was leveled off and used as an airstrip for early air mail planes. Later on the Great Meadow was replaced with the Goodwin Park Public Golf Course.

About
FOGP was formed as a community group to watch over the park’s maintenance and work on projects to improve the park. Click here for a brief history of the park.
Special note: The path through the woods that cuts off the corner at Ridge Road and Jordan Lane has finally been cleared of fallen trees from Hurricane Sandy and from a windstorm that brought down a large Pine across the path. The path has also been lined by branches from past fallen trees and has been raked clear of leaves from end to end. It is a great way to soak up a little nature in an urban area and it’s also a good place to walk your dog. The lower end has a connecter path to the golf course road so that the path can be used by folks who like to walk around the park.
Past projects include the installation of a flagpole at the park entrance and the installation of permanent benches around the park’s walkway. FOGP has also organized community events at the park such as this year’s October Fest, past years Easter Egg Hunts, and park cleanups which often are followed by picnics. Members also volunteered this year to help at the Holiday Light Fantasia. In the past we have had volunteer groups from “Heads Up Hartford,” Trinity College, and St. Joseph’s University come to the park and work with our members to help with flower beds, cutting trails, litter pick up and other projects. The Friends of Goodwin Park appreciates these volunteer efforts and is open to any group that would like to volunteer to help in our efforts to maintain and improve the park.

Nature walk
Coming up Maple Avenue towards Jordan Lane.
Walk past the golf course parking lots and park tennis courts. About 100 yards past the tennis courts there is an entrance from the road to the golf course maintenance garages. The entrance is blocked by a large steel gate. Turn left into the entrance and immediately on the right is the path entrance marked by a green and yellow sign.
Walking up Jordan Lane towards Ridge Road.
Walk past the gated entrance to the park on Jordan Lane. Walking up Jordan Lane you will pass Ridge Crest Circle on the opposite side of Jordan Lane. About 30 feet up from there is an opening into the woods marked by a small green and yellow sign.
To park and walk.
Park in the golf course parking lot next to the tennis courts. Walk by the courts on the inner road east of the courts. Walk through the paved area in front of the maintenance garages and around the big steel gate across the entrance from Ridge Road to the maintenance area. The path entrance will be on your left marked by a green and yellow sign.
To take loop walk.
Shortly before the path reaches Jordan Lane from the top of the park there is a cutoff path on your left that leads to the golf course road. Simply walk back up the road to the parking lot to complete the loop. Allow about 30 to 40 minutes for a leisurely walk.
Current projects include: 1. Pushing for the return of funds by the City for enclosing the park pool. 2. Having the road through the Park closed to thru traffic thus making it safer for children and adults to play, jog, walk or cycle in the park. There is increased traffic through the Park in the Summer months along with an increase in litter and illegal dumping. The “Friends” feel that the Park can be easily accessed and enjoyed by parking at one of the numerous lots in the park without using the park road as a thru street. 3. Getting the increasingly foul pond by the Pond House cleaned up. Click here for City e-mail addresses to contact. 4. Taking care of the poisonous vines that are strangling the trees in the southwest section of the park. 5. Trying to keep the park maintained.
Our motto is Neighbors helping Neighbors for a better neighborhood. Anyone interested in getting involved with FOGP is invited to attend our monthly meeting held at 7 p.m. every third Monday of the month at the Pond House located near the Hubbard Road entrance to the park. (See map below) Since the park straddles the Wethersfield/Hartford line we would like to see people from both communities get involved.