Over the weekend we enjoyed the afternoon at Nealon Park. It is a new playground and, as usual, was filled with kids of all ages running around and enjoying the equipment. I was shocked when our youngest climbed onto the play structure only to discover a large and energetic dog excited to go down the slide. Thankfully our daughter knows enough about dogs to keep her distance. But she did not understand why the dog was on the slide and taking a spin on the merry-go-round. I didn’t either.
Earlier this month I saw a post on social media about dogs approaching young kids at our local playgrounds. It was sad to read about others recent unpleasant experiences with dogs in the sand pit, on the play structures, and off leash at some of our favorite parks.
Young kids and dogs can both be very unpredictable. A young kid is not expecting to run into a dog when he or she is on a play structure. A dog may usually be very friendly and playful but could easily get spooked on a play structure when kids are appearing from all directions and there is no easy place to escape.
Please keep your dog off of the kids’ play equipment. Especially now, kids need a place where they feel safe to play.