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Health Tip: Climbing at the Playground

(HealthDay News) -- Playgrounds offer plenty of chances for active little ones to climb, but it's important for parents to minimize the risk of falls and injuries.

The U.S. National Safety Council offers these guidelines for parents:

  • Do not allow children younger than 4 years old to play on horizontal ladders or climbing equipment.

  • The ground near equipment should be covered with at least 12 inches of soft, loose material such as wood chips, mulch or sand.

  • Supervise older children when they're climbing.

  • Before they start climbing, make sure all handrails and steps are in good condition.

  • Check that barriers and guard rails are in place and that climbing ropes are properly secured.

  • Remove any hoods or drawstrings that could catch on the equipment.

  • Make sure there are shady spots to help protect kids from constant sun exposure.