Reporting a hazard takes one phone call, but it can prevent an injury or save a life. If your concern isn't fixed within a week or 10 days, a short letter documenting the problem will help '- and consider taking pictures. Once it's on record, your town will know that it will be taken to task should any preventable injuries occur.
Above all else, remember that you are the most important factor in your child's safety. Note the National Program for Playground Safety's easy-to-use acronym:
Supervisable: Equipment is designed so you can see your child while he plays.
Age Appropriateness: Equipment is developed for specific ages.
Falls to Surfaces: Surfaces are suitable for your child to land on.
Equipment and Surfacing: They should be well maintained.
For more information, contact the National Program for Playground Safety at PlaygroundSafety.org or 800-554-PLAY.
Jamie Schaefer Wilson is the coauthor of The Baby Rules: The Insider's Guide to Raising Your Parents.