Supervision, Equipment, Ground, Weather, Shade

5 Tips For a Safe Playground

Playgrounds offer kids a chance to get exercise, interact with peers and extend their growing bodies. But injuries can happen.

Look for impact-absorbing surfaces like sand, mulch or wood chips. Avoid playgrounds with hard asphalt, concrete or grass.

Make sure the equipment is appropriate for children of all ages. Separate areas for toddlers and older kids help prevent pushes, clashes or dangerous falls. 안전놀이터

1. Supervision

Supervision is one of the most important factors in playground safety. It is estimated that over 40% of playground injuries occur due to lack of supervision.

Teachers, teacher assistants, coaches and caregivers should be trained in safe playground equipment, hazards and effective supervisory techniques for children. These instructors should also be familiar with emergency first aid procedures and how to handle common playground emergencies.

In addition to regular inspections, set up clearly defined boundaries for children, such as using furniture or tape on the floor, so they understand what areas are off limits. Implement scan-and-count procedures to locate children quickly and establish transition routines that move kids from activity to activity without a lapse in supervision. This is especially important when young children are exploring their physical abilities.

2. Equipment

Even with age-appropriate equipment, kids can still get hurt on playgrounds. The most common causes of injuries include tripping hazards, broken equipment and displaced safety surface material. A timely inspection and regular maintenance schedule can catch these issues before children get injured.

Kids need to learn how to use equipment safely. It’s important to supervise them and tell them not to climb blindly outside of guardrails or stand on swings. Kids also need to be reminded not to push or shove each other while playing on equipment.

It’s essential that the ground under and around equipment is made of impact attenuating material such as rubber, sand or wood chips that’s at least 12 inches (30 cm) deep. It must extend more than a meter (3.8 ft) in all directions from each piece of equipment.

3. Ground

Playgrounds in day care centers, schools and community parks provide children with a fun way to expend energy. However, they can be dangerous if they aren’t designed and maintained safely. Organizations with playground equipment must ensure that children are monitored at all times and that chaperones have clear lines of sight from the entire area of the playground.

Most playground injuries occur when kids fall from equipment. The ground surface should be cushioned to reduce the likelihood of severe injury. Concrete, blacktop and packed earth are not acceptable surfaces; wood chips, sand, pea gravel, rubber tiles or mats are safer options. In addition, the surfacing should extend 6 feet in all directions from the playground equipment. Also, the equipment should be grouped by age to prevent children from running into one another and getting injured.

4. Weather

Spending time outdoors can be healthy and invigorating. But extreme weather can turn any outdoor activity into a hazardous one. This can include things like lightning, tornadoes and heavy rains.

In the summertime, metal playground equipment can get hot enough to burn children. Also, a safe playground should have impact-absorbing surfaces such as sand, wood chips or shredded rubber. These are safer than surfaces such as asphalt or dirt.

Wooden structures can also become unsafe in the winter when they’re impacted by harsh cold temperatures. Snow may cause them to crack and warp. In addition, icy areas can make it difficult for kids to get around the playground. They should also clear snow off of the slides, stairways and platforms. Otherwise, kids could fall off or slide down them.

5. Shade

While sunlight is necessary for healthy skin and boosts vitamin D levels, overexposure to UV rays can lead to overheating, sunburns, and potentially cancer later in life. Adding shade to your playground reduces the amount of harmful sun rays children are exposed to during playtime and protects them from becoming overheated, burned, or injured.

In addition to protecting kids, shade also extends the lifespan of equipment and helps to lower outdoor temperatures. In turn, this increases the time kids can spend playing at your park on warmer days.

Caregivers will also enjoy being able to sit in the shade and relax as they watch their kids play. Many shade structures are equipped with picnic benches and tables, which will allow parents to enjoy the benefits of shade while spending quality time outdoors with their kids.

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