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By taking a few precautions, parents and other guardians can help ensure that a trip to the playground doesn't lead to a trip to the emergency room. Hi, I'm Dr. Cindy Haines, host of HealthDay TV. The American College of Emergency Physicians is raising awareness about playground injuries. According to the group, statistics show that almost 80 percent of playground injuries are caused by falls. Nearly half of playground-related injuries are severe, such as broken or dislocated bones, concussions, and internal injuries. The emergency doctors offer several suggestions for having a fun, yet safe time on your next trip to the playground:
* Stay nearby so you can supervise children while they're playing, especially younger kids.
* Check the playground for broken equipment or trash that could cause injuries.
* Keep younger children off equipment that's intended for older kids. Older children, in turn, should stay off equipment that's made for younger kids, to cut down on the chance of accidentally hurting a smaller child.
* Kids should avoid wearing clothing with hoods or strings, which pose a choking hazard.
* And be sure your child follows safety rules, such as not pushing other children and staying away from moving swings.