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Injury Prevention: On the Playground

Posted Aug 24 2008 1:49pm
BONNIE BOSWELL: Hello, I am Bonnie Boswell, and welcome to our program. Today, we are talking about injury prevention for five-- to eight--year--olds. My guest is Dr. Alan Nager. He is a doctor at Children's Hospital in Los Angeles and directs the Emergency Department here.

BONNIE BOSWELL: The layground area. What can parents do to make sure their child is safe there?

ALAN NAGER, MD: I would say frequently, at least on a daily basis, we see playground injuries. First off, as a parent, you should make sure that you take your child to a playground that meets necessary safety standards. There are national regulations on what the playground surface is made out of. How far bars are apart on certain playground equipment, what the hinges and joints are like on swings, how far away the swings are. All those things first off will help assure some degree of safety. But injuries will happen.

What you need to do as a parent is make sure that you are there to guide your child through the playground equipment, helping him to know what is age appropriate, how to climb on certain kinds of equipment, how to come down certain kinds of equipment.

BONNIE BOSWELL: So, going on a little tour with your child at the playground?

ALAN NAGER, MD: A playground tour, exactly. The famous monkey bars that exist in just about every playground in America, is a playground of injury. We see at least two to three monkey bar arm fractures a day. Kids just don't know how to climb up, they don't know how to come down, and those are all accidents.

BONNIE BOSWELL: Thank you so much for being with us. You have been a great help.

ALAN NAGER, MD: Thank you.

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