Playground Safety 101
Having playground equipment at your facility is a great way for children to get outside, run off some energy, and enjoy playing with other kids. However, making sure the kids are safe, while having fun, is of utmost importance.
1.) Surface—The majority of playground injuries are a result of a fall. A fall onto a shock-absorbing surface is less likely to cause an injury than a fall onto a hard surface. Consider using wood chips, mulch, sand, pea gravel, or mats or synthetic surfacing made of safety-tested rubber. And, ensure the protective surface extends at least six feet in all directions.
2.) Inspection and Maintenance – It’s no surprise that maintaining equipment plays a big role in keeping it safe for children to play on. Create a maintenance schedule for the equipment, looking for anything that is not up to the manufacturer’s recommendations. This includes, but is not limited to, sharp edges, corners, wooden splinters, broken or missing components, rusting, loose parts, large holes, peeling paint and any other hazards.
3.) Supervision – Lastly, a playground cannot be secure without proper supervision. Without it, even playgrounds that are designed, installed and maintained in accordance with safety guidelines and standards can still impose hazards to children. Make sure your supervisor has a good understanding of basic playground safety, your equipment, your emergency procedures and First Aid. A trained playground supervisor can help reduce the number and severity of playground injuries and help keep the children using it safe.