A playground is a place where kids have fun and enjoy their time with other children. It is the parent’s or the guardian’s responsibility to help check if their environment is safe before letting them play. There are already safety guidelines posted near
1. Entrance and Exit areas
The first thing to check is where the children can get in and get out of the playground. For emergency reasons, this is always one of the first few things to remember regardless of where you are. Even for adults, knowing the entrance and exit to a place they are in is always useful. There are a lot of instances that can happen that may need this kind of knowledge. In cases of emergencies or accidents inside the playground for kids, parents must know where is the fastest way to get their children and if they need to get out of the playground, where is the fastest way to leave it. It is also useful to check if these entrance and exits are blocked by anything and to make sure that the way is cleared before the children play on the playground. As much as parents should check how to leave the playground, they should also check the entrance and exit areas to make sure that their children can’t easily open it or get through it without supervision. Parents should always keep an eye on their child, so this should not matter, but this is also for the safety of other children in the playground as well.
2. Age appropriate area
The most basic thing to check is the equipment around the playground and making sure that the equipment used is appropriate for your child. Areas in the playground for kids are usually separated in different sections depending on the equipment appropriate for each age. It can be quite obvious to see as the lower equipment are meant for younger kids so that they can reach it. Areas with stairs, nets, and slides are better for older kids that have better coordination and are more stable with their movement. The younger kids should not play with the equipment designed for older kids because they will not be able to use it properly as it is too big or high for them. Using the equipment wrongly may cause injuries. Older kids should also not play with the equipment for younger kids. Although they are able to play with it, it is best to not let them as it can disrupt the younger kids that are playing.
3. The surface of the playground floor
The floor on the playground is where most accidents happen. Its surface can reduce the severity of injuries that may be caused when children fall on them from the equipment. In general, it must be soft and thick enough to soften the impact of a child’s fall. There are a few materials that can either be deemed safe or unsafe for usage with playground floors and surfaces. Some of the safest materials to use are rubber that has been tested. These are usually used to make mats to surface the floor of playgrounds. Rubber mats is also a smooth enough material that can properly facilitate people in wheelchairs. These mats should be made loose-fill and deep enough to retain its cushion effect.
Materials that are made of concrete, asphalt, and blacktop, on the other hand, are very unsafe and too hard to be used as a floor surface at playgrounds. Even natural surfaces such as grass, soil and packed-earth surfaces are not safe for children as it can easily be deformed and affected by external factors such as the weather or just continuous wear from stepping on it. There are also small substances that come along with it like rocks and plant roots that may cause children to trip and fall. Some areas of the playground for kids like the sandbox, if there is one, should also be checked, even though this may be quite difficult. There may be loose sharp objects from other children playing such as broken plastic bottles or even glass. Although properly surfacing the floor of playgrounds can greatly help reduce the severity of injuries from children falling, it does not prevent it from happening.
4. The surface of playground equipment
At the end of the day, no matter how much adults check on the equipment for faults or possible danger, accidents may still happen. The best way to prevent them from happening is to just keep the children monitored all the time. Parents must make it a habit to make sure that they are using the right equipment and playing nicely with the other kids. Younger kids need guidance just to go around the playground and most of them are not able to gauge distances properly which makes them very clumsy and more likely to over-step, trip and fall. Older kids, on the other hand, like their freedom but may be prone to testing their limits on the playground for kids such as swinging high and jumping too far.
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