The playground is an ideal place for children to have fun, exercise, gain friends, interact with nature and be imaginative. To preserve the wonders it holds, it is important to ensure that yours is a safe and secure environment for them.
So whether you are a parent, teacher or someone who is about to build or renovate a playground, you must constantly keep in mind the following playground safety tips:
The Playground equipment is guaranteed safe and certified by professionals
Before letting any child enter the playground, you must contact the organization (the school, childcare center, park authority, or city council) responsible for its upkeep to determine the safety standards. Inspect each equipment for all signs of rust, degradation, loose nails and bolts, cracking, splintering and any other safety hazards, then report anything you find to the organization.
Surfaces should be able to absorb impact of any fall
The potential severity of an injury is significantly reduced when the surface on where a child may fall on can cushion the impact.
Examples of safe surfaces for playgrounds are those covered with rubber materials, loosely filled materials such as pea gravel, and mulch, and unpacked grassy soil.
The recommended depth of loose-fill surface materials is 1 foot for all playground equipment that are 8 feet high or lower.
Take note that if a child reaches a height of 12 feet when standing on playground equipment, no surfacing material is considered safe. The surface must not have any puddles or debris – including rocks, tree roots and stumps, or metal and broken glass – that can cause the children to slip or trip.
Playground surfaces that are considered unsafe and therefore should be avoided are concrete, blacktop, asphalt and packed grassy soil. If the surface of an old playground is hard, it should be covered with 3 to 6 inches of loose-fill surfacing material, such as gravel, secured under impact mats.
An adult should be present at all times
Adult supervision is necessary to prevent all kinds of incidents on the playground. If an incident such as an injury or unruly behavior does occur, an adult can immediately act on it.
Ensure the children know about the playground safety tips
Before letting the children play, orient them on how to use the playground safely and prevent injury. Here are the basic guidelines to keep in mind by both the supervising adult and the children:
On Swings: One of the top causes for injury in the playground is the swing because of its natural design and how it is unsafely used. You can prevent that by making sure that only one child uses one swing at a time, and that the seat is made for sitting only.
On Slides: Children should only slide down one at a time, and should do so with the feet first. Before sliding down, the child should make sure that the bottom is safe and clear, and that there is no one else standing there.
On Seesaws: Preschoolers are discouraged from using seesaws because these require hand-eye coordination and cooperation with other children. Do not let more than one child sit on the seat. If one child is much lighter than his or her partner, then they should find partners of closer weight rather than adding more children on the seat.
On Climbing Equipment: As with all other playground equipment, children should be taught to use both hands when climbing. If dropping from any hanging equipment, they should do so with both feet.
There are plenty of other playground safety tips to keep in mind, especially when using unique playground equipment. It is always best to do further research and discuss things further with qualified personnel. After all, it is always better to be safe than sorry, particularly in the case of children.
Playground Safety at Toddler Town
Toddler Town Daycare in Chicago and Evanston is dedicated to keeping our children safe no matter if they are playing indoors or outdoors. Our playground is designed to keep kids safe while they explore and play. And our staff is trained to prevent accidents before they even happen. Come check out our child care programs and contact us today! We look forward to hearing from you!