Playgrounds are exciting places that help fuel the imaginations of kids and adults alike. In fact, they are one of a few areas left that allow children to freely participate in self-directed, engaging unstructured play. To get the most out of a playground, it’s important to make sure that it’s a safe environment.
Here are five tips for making sure your playground is safe:
1. Proper safety surfacing – Most playground injuries occur when a child makes contact with the ground. Choosing safety surfacing, such as Playworld’s SMARTE, is just as important as picking equipment for your playground.
2. Safe installation – Make sure to follow manufacturer-specified installation instructions to ensure meeting guidelines created by organizations such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission and International Playground Equipment Manufacturers Association. Properly installed equipment helps ensure a safe environment for kids at play.
3. Careful equipment selection – The structures selected for your playground project should be age appropriate. Before purchasing any equipment, think about the age of the kids who will be visiting the playground. It’s also important to consider the varying abilities of children. Making your playground inclusive will allow more kids to participate in the fun.
4. Regular inspections – Have a certified playground inspector evaluate your playground at least once a year. An inspector will make sure the equipment hasn’t worn out in certain areas, and can assess environmental factors and damage. It’s better to be proactive than reactive – you may be unaware that a hazard arose since installation.
5. Keeping it clean – Watch for unwanted items that may have made their way to the playground such as trash, bottles, cans, broken glass or other sharp objects. It’s also smart to regularly wipe down structures that may have accumulated gum, snacks and/or candy remnants.
It’s important to keep playgrounds safe to ensure fun for all. How will you promote playground safety in your community?