What to Look for in Playground Safety

Top Safety Features Every Playground Must Have

Playgrounds are a place of recreation and play for children. This means they have to be a safe place where children can enjoy themselves while getting the exercise they need to grow up healthy. However, as parents or guardians, we always think and worry about the safety of our children at the playground.

After all, nobody wants to get a phone call about the injuries their child sustained in a playground accident. There are many playground and outdoor safety tips that you need to be aware of before they set foot in the park.

This article will highlight the best ways for you to ensure the safety of your kids while they slip down the slides and climb on the monkey bars — whether it’s on private or public playgrounds.

Inspecting Your Playground

We know it’s easy to get distracted by the slides and jungle gyms, but a severe injury from unsafe equipment can seriously damage any playground party. To ensure playground or outdoor safety, we advise you to inspect the area before use. A quick sweep is recommended, as it allows you to inspect and report on any needs or dangers in your playground.

The International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA) suggests to children that if they see something dangerous on the playground such as broken glass or equipment other kids are getting hurt on, they should tell an adult right away. By checking to ensure that your local public park has proper safety features, we can all avoid unnecessary accidents and injuries.

You can learn more about our playground safety tips from the experts!

Safe Equipment Guidelines

There are many things to think about when it comes to playground safety for kids. Remember that each piece of playground equipment is different in its safety concerns, so each has its own safety guidelines to keep in mind. All equipment must be age appropriate as well.

Swings

Here are the top safety tips for making your child’s experience on the swings safe and fun.

  • Ensure that the swing is made of soft material (e.g., rubber or plastic).
  • Position your kids correctly on the swing and let them hold tightly. When done, wait for the swing to stop completely before getting off.
  • Let only one kid use the same swing at a time.
  • Keep your child away from moving swings.

Slides

Follow these guidelines to keep your child safely sliding.

  • Supervise your child when they climb the ladder to the top of the slide. Make sure that they do not try to climb the sliding board.
  • Teach your child the correct methods for sliding. They should be sitting with their feet pointed down the slide, not lying down or aiming their head down the slide first.
  • Ensure that only one child uses the slide at a time.
  • Ensure that no one is at the bottom of the slide before the next kid slides.
  • Make sure that there is a safe landing surface. Usually, it’s safety-tested rubber.

Climbing Equipment Safety

Climbing is excellent for honing motor skills. When you let your kids try it, be sure to teach and supervise them throughout the course. Additionally, see that your child is holding the bar with both hands and avoiding swinging their feet while climbing.

As a general rule:

  • Dress your children suitably when playing at the playground.
  • Let your kids use age-appropriate playground equipment.
  • Check surfaces around playground equipment for safety.

Ensure Safe Surfacing Beneath and Surrounding Playground Equipment

Playground safety surfacing is a necessity in any private or public park. Surfaces around playground equipment should have soft surface materials made of safety-tested rubber. Aside from a rubber-like mat, a playground can install soft mulch or sand 12 inches deep as an alternative.

A good example of a rubber-like playground surfacing is the poured-in-place rubber playground surfacing installed beneath and around some playgrounds, guaranteeing safe surfaces while kids play. This playground surface material has excellent slip, impact, and wear resistance. The softer surface allows children to develop more confidence and use their imagination without fear of injury.

Playground Safety Report Card

A safe playground is one of the most vital steps in protecting your kids as they grow and play. However, it’s natural that parents and those responsible for the care of children will be preoccupied as they take a break from the office to watch their children play. It’s difficult to remember everything that needs to be checked before children begin to play.

Luckily, the National Program for Playground Safety has created a safety checklist called the Playground Safety Report Card. With this on hand, you can easily prevent accidents and ensure that your children’s playgrounds are safe.

Parents can help ensure the safety of playgrounds by downloading the Playground Safety Report Card.

Conclusion

Playgrounds are fun for kids to exercise, socialize, and be creative. They can even help children develop physical coordination, social skills, and communication skills. To ensure a safe play experience, playgrounds need to be built with sturdy structures and appropriate surfaces. The main principle of playground and outdoor safety is obvious: make sure kids can have fun without any harm coming to them. With the tips above, we hope to provide fun and safe play for all children.

How important is a playground in a school?  Find out what the top 7 factors are to consider are when choosing a school for your kids

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