The playground at your child's day care facility is an epicenter of fun, friendships, and exercise. Your child is already aware of the potential dangers that the playground can pose, like broken bones and sprains. Yet, did you know that there are three more sneaky dangers lurking around the playground? Here are three things you and your child must know, and tips on how you can protect your child against these hidden threats.

Lead Paint

In 1977, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSC, prohibited the sale of paint that consisted of more than 0.06% lead. This ban ensured that all toys and playground equipment manufactured after 1977 would be safer for children.

Be that as it may, lead still poses a health risk to your child, especially in day care. Many playgrounds constructed in or before 1977 were not repainted and still pose a lead poisoning risk. Furthermore, even if the playground equipment itself boasts lead-free paint, the areas surrounding the playground can still contain deteriorated lead chips intermingled with the sand or gravel.

Despite the massive efforts that federal and local governments have made toward lowering the risks of lead exposure, over half a million children between the ages of one and five have dangerously high blood lead levels. Lead exposure causes permanent damage, including cognitive and concentration problems.

Your child's day care staff members can address any concerns that you might have about the playground's paint. Even if the day care confirms that the playground is lead-free, teach your child to wash their hands after playing. Also instruct your child to avoid eating while on the playground, as deteriorated lead paint dusts from the sand or gravel can contaminate your child's food.

Thermal Burns

When exposed to direct sunlight, metal, plastic, and rubber playground equipment can reach incredibly high temperatures. As a matter of fact, the surface temperature of a slide, monkey bars, or swing can be extreme enough to cause first- and second-degree burns!

Your child's skin is thinner than yours, and more susceptible to thermal burns. Teach your child to touch-test all playground equipment before pouncing; just because a slide in the shade is cool enough does not mean that the swings on the sunny side of the playground will be as well. Tell your child to immediately report any burns so that day care staff can take immediate steps. Finally, tell your child to wear shoes at all times; even the playground flooring can reach temperatures hot enough to burn sensitive feet.

Heat Stroke

Playgrounds are synonymous with physical activity, something that your child needs each and every day. Yet, when playtime goes to the extreme, deadly consequences can result.

Heat stroke is another hidden playground danger. If your child's temperature gets too high, usually the result of a combination of physical exertion, dehydration, and hot and humid temperatures, your child needs immediate medical attention. Left untreated, your child can suffer long-term brain damage and even death.

Children differ in their abilities to tolerate extreme heat and activity. Know your child's weaknesses and encourage regular water and rest breaks during playtime. Also ensure that your day care facility always provides water, especially during playground time and in the summer months. Talk to your center, one like Basics Primary School & Day Care, about their precautions against these three dangers.