Moms and dads need to stay vigilant to keep their children safe at playgrounds

More than 200,000 hospital visits a year

TAMPA, Fla. - More than 200,000 kids are seriously injured in playgrounds each year. Seventy-five of the injuries occurr on school or community grounds

Children ages 5 to 9 years old are the most likely to be seriously injured and require a hospital visit. Boys are injured more frequently than girls, but not by a wide margin.

The latest numbers tell a tale not of equipment errror but human nature. Kids are kids and do silly stuff. Many accidents happen when mom and dad take their eye off of their children. The most frequent injuries are related to jumping or falling from high places.

Florida is one of several states to follow the playground safety guidelines of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The mandatory guidelines include soft landing surfaces that are both deep and wide, equipment with no sharp edges, and opening large enough so kids heads can not become entrapped.

To make sure your playground is compliant, visit www.cpsc.gov/safety-education/safety-guides/playgrounds.

Moms we talked to at Kate Jackson Park in Tampa said "looking away is easy," but vigilance and attentiveness is key.

Besides the normal safety features, parents told us they prefer parks with lots of shade to keep children cool, fences and gates to keep kids in, and clear visibility from all locations.

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