A lack of public parks may pose a threat to children's safety

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Experts say that a lack of public parks lead children to play in the streets, where they can be exposed to a lot of danger.

While the rapid growth and development of commerce in the country, comes the problem of population growth which leads to fewer and fewer public parks and spaces. This causes children to play more and more in the streets, which pose a huge threat to their safety.

Playing is an integral part of a child's development

According to Grace Ramos, an environmental and urban planner, there should always be spaces that are dedicated specifically towards creating public parks and public spaces. However, due to the rapid pace of commercialization and urbanization in the country, the creation of public spaces are left to the wayside.

Sigrid Perez, executive director of Play Pilipinas, an NGO that advocates the rights of children to play at home, in schools, and in communities, adds that playing is an integral part of a child's development.

Throughout Metro Manila, there are only 486 public parks and open spaces. And according to records, Pasay City doesn't even have any public playgrounds to speak of.

It's the local government's responsibility to develop parks

Ideally, there should be 1 public playground or park for every 1,706 barangays in Metro Manila. They add that it's not enough to create parks, but to also establish rigid safety standards to ensure that it's a safe space where children can play and have fun.

They add that even if there are playgrounds in some barangays, most of the time, they're not well-maintained or completely left to rot.

In November of 2016, a child even died due to the lack of maintenance when a slide fell on top of him.

Additionally, it's the local government's responsibility to ensure that there are sufficient parks and public spaces to address the needs of the public, and to also ensure that these parks are safe and well-maintained so that they don't present a risk to children.

Even private subdivisions are required to allot at least 30% of their area as open space for the public. Sadly, a large number of subdivisions fail to follow these standards.

Kids should be given opportunities for safe play

The fact that a child's right to play is a part of the human rights for children just shows the importance of playing in their development.

Playing with other children can teach your child important lessons such as cooperation, fair play, and interacting with other children. This is why it's very important for parents to always ensure that not only do their kids have enough time to play, but they also have to be sure that their kids are safe when they are playing.

Source: youtube.compediatrics.aappublications.org

READ: Theme park accident : “They saw their mothers get crushed to death”

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