Thousands of children are injured in playgrounds each year. These injuries could be prevented by a combination of age-appropriate equipment, formal inspections, and maintenance procedures. Kids love to run around and hop here and there, and falls are an inevitable part of rough play. But if kids are taught proper falling techniques, they can avoid serious injury or even concussion.
A playground designed for children between the ages of 2 and 5 needs to provide equipment that challenges kids but also respects their abilities. The CPSC states that playground equipment must challenge kids’ gross and fine motor skills, cognitive reasoning and physical coordination, but it should be limited enough to avoid injuries. The equipment should not have openings where a child’s head could get trapped. This includes spaces between rails, bars and rungs on climbing equipment; gaps in the rope of a cargo net; and sharp points or edges. In addition, equipment should be free of protruding bolt ends and “S” hooks that can cause strangulation.
School-age kids’ physical, intellectual and social skills are developing rapidly. They’re ready for equipment that lets them develop their strength and creativity while challenging them mentally and physically. For example, equipment like a Maypole requires cooperation and upper body strength to play, which makes it ideal for this age group.
Children love to run around, climb and play. But these activities can lead to injuries like splinters, broken bones or even head trauma if kids aren’t properly supervised. Using a playground supervision checklist can help ensure that kids have a safe and fun time while on the playground. Supervision involves active observation of the playground and its participants. Adults need to know 안전놀이터 rules, be aware of what kids are doing at all times, and intervene when they do something unsafe. They should also remove visual barriers and position themselves for optimum viewing.
Distractions can derail effective supervision. Teachers, students and parents need to avoid conversations that can take their attention away from kids. In addition, they should never use electronic devices while on the playground. It’s best to have more than one person supervise so that if someone gets hurt, the other can focus on their needs while the supervisor continues to watch the other children.
Surfacing under and around playground equipment is an important safety factor for all children. However, it does not prevent all injuries or reduce the severity of those that occur. Regardless, it is required by IPEMA standards. The best types of surfacing are unitary, low maintenance surfaces that provide good shock absorption and accessibility for those using wheelchairs and walkers. They are often made of recycled materials and able to meet the critical fall height requirements set by CPSC and ADA.
Some examples of unitary safety surfacing include rubber tiles, interlocking mats, and Poured-in-Place (PIP). Poured-in-Place is an industry leading two layer system that can be poured onsite with virtually unlimited color combinations and features the most design potential for your playground. These surface materials offer a safe environment for kids to play and are easy to maintain. However, they still require some regular inspections to ensure the surfacing stays thick enough and does not develop pits or grooves under equipment that could trap or injure kids.
A safety playground needs to be clean. This includes keeping trash receptacles on the premises and putting them in strategic places where people are likely to generate the most garbage. Trash thrown on the ground contaminates surfaces, and also creates an uncomfortable environment for children. It is best to have a professional cleaner clean the playground and its surroundings regularly.
Cleaning and sanitizing reduce germs to prevent illnesses and disease. Indoor playgrounds should be cleaned daily and spot-cleaned throughout business hours, even if they do not look dirty. Providing handwashing or sanitizing stations is also important. Keep in mind that while a playground does harbor germs, it does not contain nearly as many as your home. It is still important to use CDC recommended techniques for preventing the spread of illness, such as maintaining physical distancing and covering coughs or sneezes.
As kids head to the playground for some outdoor fun, it’s important to keep safety in mind. Nearly 80% of playground injuries are caused by falls. Look for equipment suited to your child’s age, abilities and developmental level. Avoid clothes with drawstrings or other items that could get caught on equipment.