This week has been National Playground Safety Week, so as we head into the weekend, we think it’s appropriate to share some information about playground safety. The National Program for Playground Safety(NPPS) sponsors efforts to reduce the number of playground injuries. It’s a great idea, because more than 200,000 kids are seen in emergency rooms every year for playground injuries.
While many of the recommendations made by the NPPS are aimed at municipalities and school districts, individual property owners can find themselves responsible for play equipment injuries that occur on their properties. Here are some tips to help protect children as they use outdoor play equipment:
Supervision—play areas need to be designed so that supervisors have access to and clear views of the entire play area.
Age-appropriate design—outdoor play areas should be structured to meet the needs of individual, target age groups. A play area designed for a two-year-old should include different equipment than an area designed for a ten-year-old.
Fall-surfacing— 70 percent of injuries on a playground happen as a result of a fall. Surfaces other than asphalt, dirt, and grass should be used. Softer, looser materials like pea gravel, shredded rubber, mulch, sand or special surfaces designed specifically for playgrounds are recommended.
Equipment maintenance—playground equipment should be maintained on a schedule to ensure that it is in optimally safe condition.
Following these S.A.F.E. playground practices is important for the safety of children. No one wants to see a child injured and many injuries can be prevented.
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