playgrounds are hazardous for parents, too

playgrounds are hazardous for parents

Sure, kids can get hurt at playgrounds, but parents are at risk as well. We’re talking panic attacks, heart attacks, and all manner of injuries to your aging appendages. If you do visit a playground with your child, it’s important to take precaution.

Here are some things to watch out for:

Tripping Over your Own Feet: Your child could be teetering on the edge of the jungle gym or climbing too high for his current coordination and agility. When you notice this happening from where you are chatting with another parent only about 10 feet away, you might bound toward him and quite possibly trip over your own feet. Though your child will be fine, there’s a high chance you will break off your front teeth.

Suggestion: Wear a helmet with a faceguard, even if your child refuses to wear one. The added benefit is that since no other parents will want to talk to you while you’re wearing this, their friendliness will no longer be a distraction.

Sun: In case you haven’t noticed, sunrays have a way of scorching skin. The result is a splotchy, wrinkled, leathery face and “skin peels” you didn’t pay for or want.

Suggestion: Since you will not have the energy or time to apply sunscreen to your own skin after a prolonged wrestling match to get it on your child, you might want to consider wearing one of those gigantic sun hats that will provide enough shade for your body and several dozen other people. Make sure you get one big enough to fit over your helmet (see above).

Ticks: It now seems like everyone you know has contracted Lyme disease, even though they claim to never be outside.

Suggestion: Dress in a full unitard with a hood, like a speed skater. Add a facemask so that there is literally no skin exposed. Sure, you are guaranteed to suffer from heat exhaustion in the summer months, but at least you won’t have to apply that darn sunscreen or wear a ridiculous hat (see above).

Slide: Your child really really really wants you to take a turn on the slide. Even though you suspect your hips are a little too wide, you desperately want to be the fun, easy-going, playful parent you always imagined you’d be. Unfortunately, chances are high you’re going to get stuck mid-ride and gravity will suddenly ignore you.

Suggestion: Make sure you have your phone on your person at all times. You may need to call 911 so that an emergency crew can bring the jaws-of-life.

That squeaking Swing: You’ve had four hours of sleep, you’re mainlining coffee, and now the creak-creak-creak of that swing is boring a hole in your addled brain.

Suggestion: Either BYO earplugs or seal your ears shut tightly with your own fingers and sing leeleeleeleeelee at the top of your lungs like the crazy person you are.

Swings, in general: Of course, you have taught your child to pay attention and walk in a wide circle when swings are in use and he has gotten the hang of it. For some reason, you don’t have enough brain cells left to take your own advice. You are therefore in danger of getting drop kicked into the mulch and possibly knocked unconscious.

Suggestion: Stay in the car and watch from afar. This is really the only place where you are safe.

In fact, maybe you should stay home: this might be the best place for you, and therefore your child. Maybe you could just read a book about playgrounds. Of course, with that, there’s always the possibility of acute eyestrain…


A version of this piece originally appeared on Chronicles of Parenting at Nyack News & Views.

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6 replies

  1. Wear white, all white all the time so when you do, eventually, see that random tick climbing up your tucked in pant leg you can flick it off and then remind yourself the color white doesn’t attract the sun. Bonus!
    Loved it!

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