Keeping kids safe in the playground
Despite our best efforts, accidents can still take place in playgrounds, but there are steps that we can take to minimise risk. There are many ways that we can turn playgrounds into prosperous environments where kids can learn and have fun without being met with danger. Soft surfaces can be worth their weight in gold when it comes to safety, and it’s wise to furnish playgrounds with the safest equipment.
Adults should be present when children are in playgrounds. Supervision means that if an accident does occur it can be attended to straight away. Children should only play on equipment that is meant for them. For instance, older children should not use equipment designed for younger children. This explains why playgrounds are often divided into different sections according to age. A great deal of accidents involve children falling to the ground, which is why certain surfaces are chosen. Concrete is to be avoided, but surfaces made of rubber or wood chip are ideal for playgrounds.
The importance of maintenance
Equipment should be anchored in the ground where appropriate. Good maintenance is essential for safety. When bolts become loose or equipment becomes rusty, dangers can come to the surface, so checks should be made regularly to ensure that the environment remains as safe as possible. Strings and ropes are also to be avoided in most cases – children could accidentally become strangled if something goes wrong. Ropes are integral to some playground equipment, so you should make sure that they are 100% secure if they are present.
Play in all weather conditions
In the summer, playground equipment can become extremely hot. This can result in burns, so if temperatures have become dangerously high, you should not permit children to play on it. When the weather is hot, sun cream should be used to prevent skin from burning. Wet weather also needs to be taken into account, making surfaces and equipment slippy, so it is wise to invest in canopies to protect playground equipment from rain. Canopies not only stop surfaces from getting wet but also mean that play areas and climbing equipment can be used all year round.
The value of play
Playground equipment comes in many forms. Equipment can be used for children to slide, climb, hang or sit on. Playgrounds can allow children to learn how to socialise, solve problems and have fun whilst exploring their imagination. When looking for equipment you should make sure that it adheres to all regulations and can be serviced and maintained easily. It should be as robust as possible and be designed to last for several years. Playgrounds can help children to assess their psychomotor skills and make sense of the world around them.