While playgrounds are a great source of entertainment, they can also be a significant cause of injury: disrepair, poor use, or lack of adult supervision cause many playground injuries.
Besides, with the growing concerns of insecurity, they could be a target spot for kidnappers, abductors, and other offenders. That’s why it’s essential to ensure they’re in the right condition for kids to enjoy. Consider the following tips for increasing playground safety.
Even after the start of the school year or the return of children from spring break or winter, it is always prudent to conduct routine inspections of the playground. This does not require hours per week, but a quick check at the end of the day can go a long way.
Here are some of the things to do. First, pull on the apparatus and move it about a bit to ensure that everything is securely fastened (this includes swings). Then, inspect your current fences to see whether they’re functional.
Fences act as protection barriers; any weak spot could result in significant consequences. That’s why it’s essential to consider a custom fence screen, which provides privacy and security. Children can play without fear of being spied on by people from the outside world.
This relates to the first advice but goes a step further with it. Since you aren’t an expert, it is prudent to have an expert complete a certified playground assessment once a year at your school’s playground. An inspection of the playground may seem like an unnecessary extra cost, but it might save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
A trained playground inspector will assess every inch of your playground and deliver a comprehensive report to your organization. They’ll also make the best recommendations for instance, about the most appropriate equipment to use.
While it may be natural to concentrate primarily on the equipment, don’t overlook the underlying surface. Even with adequate equipment, children occasionally fall to the ground. Preparing for falls is prudent, as they are an inevitable part of childhood. Ensure that your playground has a minimum of 8 inches of mulch, wood chips, or authorized Poured-in-Place surfacing.
In recent years, Certified Engineered Wood Fiber has gained popularity among numerous schools, daycares, and institutions. Additionally, you must ensure that the surface reaches at least 6 feet from each recreational structure. Consider a height of ten feet if the construction is tall.
Related reading: How to Keep Kids Germ-Free on the Playground
Spacing is an important aspect of playground safety. If your playground structures are surrounded by guard rails or protective borders, ensure sufficient space between the play structure and the railings or borders. Additionally, you should leave at least 3 to 5 feet across each play structure. Having too much play equipment crammed into a tiny area is never a smart option. It would be best to establish a clear spacing between structures that facilitates a clean impact on the subsurface.
Another frequent cause of playground injuries among children is the use of equipment unsuited to their stature or developmental stage. When children attempt to utilize equipment designed for youngsters who weigh or are shorter or taller than they are, they may sustain injuries.
Check posted signs for information regarding the recommended age of the equipment. Some playgrounds offer distinct two- to five-year-old and five-year-old play areas. If you have preschoolers, look for a playground built for young children.
Allowing a young kid to play on apparatus built for much older children increases their danger of falling. The rails and belts may be incapable of securing a much lighter and smaller youngster. Similarly, older children may ascend to the very peak of a structure, putting themselves at risk of a precipitous fall.
If your younger children display an interest in the equipment for older children, steer them toward an alternative activity. Even if your children are disappointed that they cannot accomplish what they desire, the danger of injury is not worth it. Guide your children to the structure that is most suitable for their size and age.
Following the five aforementioned tips should enhance the playground’s safety. The most important thing is to inspect play structures and surrounding locations routinely. A little effort and good judgment will ensure the safety of the playground.
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