The squeals and shouts of our rambunctious, healthy kids enjoying their fun are reassuring and comforting for parents to hear – as long as those shouts don’t become screams of an accident or pain. The garden is supposed to be a fun place for exercise and play, not a risk zone. Young kids need the physical benefits of exercise, motor skills development, and fresh air, and of course, a place to work off their energy.
Unfortunately, annually households of about 200,000 children face injuries associated with unsafe playground areas and equipment, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. An estimated 51,000 involve home playground equipment, the remainder occurs at public playgrounds. Most of the injuries are caused by falls. About 15 children die every year due to strangulation.
You Can Keep Your Children Safe
Fortunately, these tragedies are preventable. Combined with careful adult supervision, maintenance, and proper playground construction can greatly minimize the risk of injury.
Practice Playground Safety in Home, at School, and the Park
This quick-course was written to help alert you to the danger signs in play areas. You may take charge at home by taking precautions with your play area. And you’re able to have a look at playgrounds for the dangers. These include lack of falls, lack of guardrails to prevent head entrapment hazards falls, and other hazards.
Cushion Falls With Protective Surfacing
Since almost 60% of all injuries are caused by falls to the ground, protective surfacing under and around all playground equipment is critical to reducing the risk of severe head injury. And because head impact injuries from a drop may be life-threatening, the further shock-absorbing a surface can be made, the less likely any injury will be intense.
Of course, all accidents due to falls cannot be prevented no matter what playground surfacing material is utilized.
What to Avoid
Do NOT Use Concrete or Asphalt. Falls on asphalt and concrete may lead to death and severe head injury. Don’t put playground equipment above these surfaces.
Avoid Grass and Dirt. Grass and turf also lose their ability to absorb shock through wear and environmental problems. Earth surfaces such as hard-packed dirt and soils. Always use protective surfacing.
What Should You Use?
Loose-fill surfacing materials. These include shredded tires, double shredded bark mulch, wood chips, fine sand, or gravel that is fine. Get fine sand Right here. The greater the depth, the greater the shock-absorption. Loose-fill materials shouldn’t be installed on hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt.
Manufactured synthetic surfaces. These include rubber or rubberized over poured-in-place urethane or tiles, foam mats, and rubber compositions. The first cost is greater but less maintenance is required. Be sure to ask the manufacturer for test data on shock absorption. Some materials require installation while others do not.
Just how Much Should You Use?
If using the loose-fill substance in your home, keep a constant depth of at least 6 inches of substance. 9 or 12 inches is advised. The cushioning benefits of sand and gravel increase according to the CPSC.
What is the Buffer Zone?
Produce a buffer zone, covered with a protective surfacing material, under and around all equipment where a child might fall. The protective surfacing material should extend a minimum of 6 feet in all directions from the perimeter of this equipment. To prevent further injury in the fall, this area must be free of equipment and barriers which may strike a child.
Dig a Pit
Loose-Fill (sand, fine sand, mulch, wood chips, etc.. ) substance requires a process of containment such as a retaining barrier or excavated pit. It also requires good drainage underneath the material, periodic renewal or replacement, and continuous maintenance (e.g., leveling, grading, sifting, raking) to maintain its thickness and to remove foreign matter.
Change Loose-Fill Periodically
Wet weather, arctic temperatures, normal use over time, and contamination will decompose, pulverize, and compact substance. Make sure you renew or restore it until it turns challenging.
The Nitty Gritty on Sand and Gravel
Although cheap, sand is the least desired option. Sand can scatter easily out of your containment area. It also hardens rapidly when wet, is abrasive to floor surfaces when monitored indoors, and attracts animals as a litter box. Gravel can pose a hazard if sprinkled and is more challenging to walk.
Swing Security Zones
Swing sets should be securely anchored. Swings also should have a buffer zone extending a minimum of 6 feet at the edge of the support structure on every side. The use zone in front and back of the swing should be even larger and extend out a minimum distance of twice the height of the swing as measured from the floor to the swing hangers on the support structure.
Rules on Swing Spacing
To prevent injuries from impact with moving swings, swings shouldn’t be too close together or too close to support constructions. Swing spacing should be 8 inches in the support frame and at least 8 inches between swings. The clearance between the floor and underside of the swing chair should be 8 inches.
That’s the way to create the best buffer zone between your kid and potential injury. Now, keep reading for more equipment security instructions.
Contemplate a builder if you are not handy. Poor playgrounds that are installed could be an additional hazard.
Playgrounds must be inspected regularly. Inspect protective surfacing, especially loose-fill, and maintain the appropriate depth. The following conditions should be eliminated, corrected, or repaired to prevent accidents:
- Exposed equipment footings.
- Scattered debris, litter, rocks, or tree roots.
- Rust and chipped paint on metal parts.
- Splinters, big cracks, and decayed wood components.
- Deterioration and corrosion on structural components that relate to the floor.
Missing or broken equipment parts, like handholds, guardrails, swing seats.
1. Install Guard Rails – Platforms more than 30″ above the ground should have guardrails to prevent falls.
2. Prevent Unsafe Openings – Generally speaking, openings that are closed on all sides, should be over 3 1/2″ or greater than 9″. Openings that are between 3′ 1/2″ and 9″ present forward entrapment and strangling hazard.
3. Eliminate Pinch or Crush Points – There should be no exposed moving parts that may present a pinching or crushing hazard.
4. Never use Bicycle Helmets on the Playground – Bike helmets can get stuck in openings on playground equipment, resulting in strangulation or hanging.
5. Avoid Dressing Children in Stringed or Loose Clothing. Stringed items placed around the neck, loose clothing, and clothing strings can catch on playground equipment and strangle children.
Remember to oversee, and instruct your child safe play. Teach your child not to walk or perform near a moving swing, and then to not tie ropes to park equipment.
It’s not difficult to make your playground safe when you work from the bottom up.
Install protective surfacing on the floor, use security equipment, and keep your play area.