Playing Outdoors

Injury Prevention Play Outdoors swing cartoonYoung children should be watched closely at all times when playing outside. Use the following tips for outdoor safety.

  • Yards should be fenced in, and gates should be locked.
  • Dangerous substances, such as pesticides, should be kept out of reach.
  • Gardening and working tools should be locked away and out of reach.
  • Lawn mowers and weed whackers are dangerous. Children should not be outside when you are using this equipment. Children should never ride on a riding mower. For more information, visit our Lawn Mower Safety page.
  • Children should never be allowed near gas grills or barbecues.
  • Playground equipment should be installed securely in the ground and checked often. Bolts should not stick out and “S-hooks” must be completely closed.
  • Because nearly 70 percent of playground injuries are a result of falls, the surface under the playground equipment should be soft. Safe surfaces such as mulch, chips, sand or poured-in-place rubber mats should be 9 to 12 inches deep. Teach your child how to use playground equipment properly, and only provide age-appropriate equipment.
  • Make sure your child wears a helmet when bike riding; and a helmet and elbow, wrist and knee guards when using rollerblades, scooters or skateboards. For more information visit our wheels and helmet safety page.


  • Trampolines aren’t toys for kids. They can be unsafe.
  • The AAP policy statement published in 2012 and reaffirmed in 2015 states that home use of trampolines is dangerous for children and should be strongly discouraged. Acknowledging that trampolines can be a source of exercise, the Benedum Trauma Program at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh also recommends that trampolines not be used at home.
  • If children are going to use a trampoline, please follow these tips:
    • If you are not 6 years old, never play on a trampoline.
    • If you are 6 and play on a trampoline, make sure an adult is right there with you.
    • Never jump with another person. Only one person should jump at a time.
    • Always jump in the center of the trampoline.
    • Don’t do tricks or flips.
    • Never jump off. When you are finished jumping, stop, walk to the edge, sit and slide off.
    • Never go under a trampoline while someone else is jumping on it.
    • Never play on a wet trampoline.