Though parks and playgrounds are so important for healthy recreation and development of your little one, they can pose certain hazards that parents would do well to be familiar with:
Be familiar with the layout of the park: The parent or caregiver should be fully aware of the entrances and exit points of a park and the positioning of the play area.
If there are any pools or fountains in the area one ought to be in control with those as well. If the park has such a facility as an information desk etc make yourself familiar with that and make your child familiar with the personnel presence there.
Spell out simple rules: One such rule could be the No Wandering Rule. Explain to the baby that he or she can play only in this particular area and that on no occasion is it OK to leave that perimeter.
It is vital that the baby always remain within the eyesight of the supervising adult. But it can happen that you take your eyes off the baby for a minute to pay attention to what an older child is saying or asking, and baby could have had time to wander off.
A No Stranger Rule is also a good idea. Even small babies can be made to understand the concept of stranger danger. Ask the baby to call out the moment he or she is approached by a stranger.
Also make sure that the baby understands that it is not OK to leave the play area with anyone except the supervising adult; even someone they know. A majority of kidnappings are carried out by known and trusted people, statistic show.
The check back rule: It is a good idea to go check with your child periodically, whether he or she is OK whether they need something etc. When the child is a little older, they can come up to where the adult is and check back periodically.
Remember, when rules are clearly established and followed, it makes for a stress free and relaxed park or playground experience both for the children as well as their adult care giver.
While children should be supervised and guided towards the age appropriate equipment, they needn’t be cautioned and stopped from doing things all the time.
A little leeway is necessary so that a child can explore and experiment a little; testing out his or her own abilities and building up new skills as well.