Playing outdoors is a critical part of your child’s growth, development and enjoyment of nature. Playgrounds and natural formations like trees and rocks are a fun and agile environment where children can use their imagination, develop their motor skills and enjoy their time playing.

As a parent or caregiver, it’s always a concern that your child may injure themselves in some way – and with so many variables are at play outdoors, this is a perfectly rational concern. There will be times when your child will fall, bumping elbows and skinning knees – and this is all part of being a child. But while you cannot protect your child from every harm, more serious incidents can often be avoided with appropriate supervision and play guidelines and rules.

At Bush Kidz we have a beautiful, natural outdoor play area along with built play equipment. We are so proud of the environment we provide for your children, and we would love to show you around sometime. In the meantime, here are some of our key tips for safe outdoor play.

Call us to make a time to come and see us – and bring your kids! Visit us at Blacksoil (07) 3201 4231 or Brassall (07) 3813 0975.

Outdoor Play Do’s

Many of the injuries that kids can sustain when playing outdoors comes from when kids fall from a height or get stuck in something.

  • Supervise your kids. Toddlers are still developing their motor skills and require a great deal more supervision than older children. Stand with them and hold their hand as they wander through the play equipment. Older children only require supervision from a distance where you can keep a watchful eye.
  • Pick a playground surrounded by a fence. Fences are vital for young children, especially if you are at a play centre which is near a road, or if you are looking after a few children at once and need to keep your eyes on them. Bonus points if your child is a runner!
  • Make sure your little ones are playing on age-appropriate play equipment. If your child is under three years of age, try to keep them on equipment that’s less than 1m high; between three and five-year-old kids can explore slightly higher equipment; and over five years of age could see kids playing on equipment up to 2m off the ground.
  • Allow your kids to interact with nature in a positive way. If your kids come across plants, bugs and animals while playing outdoors, teach them to enjoy and appreciate them without harming nature in the process. It’s an important lesson to learn and it’s one that helps them become more eco-minded as they grow older.
  • Think about the surface that your child is going to be playing on and around. When playing on play equipment, there should be a thick layer of organic mulch or soft rubber flooring. Grass also provides a soft place to land. Cement or hard surfaces under or around a playground or play equipment is a big risk, and if you do see this, you can report it to your local council to fix.
  • Encourage your kids to play sports. Not only does it get them moving, but they learn how to follow rules, work as a team and cooperate with others to play and win the game. While physical injury is a risk, you can minimise this with safety gear and making sure rules are in place

Outdoor Play Dont’s

  • Never leave your child unsupervised – especially when they are playing on play equipment that’s high off the ground or if there are lots of other children and adults around.
  • Don’t let children play on or near busy roads. You don’t want to run the risk of your child being hit by a car. Always choose a safe outdoor area to play in such as a park or a fenced off playground.
  • Never let children play on bikes, tricycles or any other kind of moving toy without a helmet. Falling off is inevitable for kids who are learning how to ride a bike, so a helmet is a must to make sure they don’t get seriously hurt.
  • Avoid play areas that looks unsafe. While standards are in place to make sure public play equipment is safe, there could still be obstacles around that increase the risk of injuries such as sharp tree branches, animal faeces and trash. Simply remove any hazards before your children enjoy their play time. If you’re unable to do that, choose a safer place to play.

Above all, use your common sense when supervising kids. They need to be given the freedom to explore their own boundaries while at the same time benefiting from your experience and love to keep them safe. At Bush Kidz we treat your children as if they were our own and pride ourselves on keeping them safe and feeling secure every day they are here with us.

Call us to make a time to come and see us – and bring your children along – we would love to meet you all! Visit us at Blacksoil (07) 3201 4231 or Brassall (07) 3813 0975.