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How To Design A Safe Playground

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Playgrounds are fun places where kids can run, jump, climb and slide. Unfortunately, children sometimes fall from playground equipment. Make sure the playground has proper surfacing. A fall on asphalt, blacktop or concrete could be life-threatening. Instead, choose a surface such as wood chips, mulch, sand or pea gravel. Look for adequate lines of sight so that parents and adults can see kids playing on all equipment. This helps to prevent accidents that often occur when kids run into each other.

Safety Standards

Keeping children safe at playgrounds requires a comprehensive approach that involves regulations, safety guidelines and ongoing maintenance. Design professionals, program directors and members of an agency’s facility planning team can use these resources from ASTM International to create safe environments for kids. Protective surfacing must cover areas under and around equipment to cushion impact, shield young bodies from injury and reduce the risk of head trauma. Concrete, asphalt and blacktop are unsafe surfaces for playgrounds and must be replaced with surfacing material that is soft, durable, non-abrasive and accessible to children using wheelchairs or mobility devices.

Surfaces should be at least 12 inches deep, and can include wood chips, mulch, shredded rubber, pea gravel or mats made of safety-tested and rubber-like materials. Make sure that protective surfacing extends at least 6 feet in all directions from equipment, and for swings, at least twice the height of the suspending bar. Also, check for dangerous hardware, like open “S” hooks and protruding bolt ends.

Design

There are many factors to consider when designing a 안전놀이터. These factors may include the age of children, the location and the safety standards. A well designed playground can provide challenges that are both age and developmentally appropriate and allow kids to take healthy risks. However, this challenge should not come at the expense of a child’s safety. The equipment on a safe playground should also be spaced appropriately so that one child’s play does not interfere with another. In addition, it is important to have enough surfacing so that falls don’t cause injuries.

There are many types of surfacing materials that can be used on a playground. These surfaces should be tested by a laboratory for safety and must have an adequate amount of cushioning to reduce the risk of injury. Some popular options are rubber surfaces that have been safety-tested and loose fill, which requires routine maintenance to maintain the proper depth.

Age Range

A playground that is designed for children ages 2-5 provides an environment for these kids to develop their coordination, balance and gross motor skills in a safe environment. The equipment has deck heights that are suited to their capabilities and a variety of safe slides that challenge their growing strength. Playgrounds for children ages 5-12 offer more challenging and advanced independent play activities such as problem solving activity panels to supplement classroom learning, outdoor play puppet or store front components for imaginative play, freestanding climbing or fitness equipment and a range of upper body challenges like monkey bars, corkscrew/loop pole elements, swings or more complex balance beams.

When you have a range of different age groups playing together, it is important to make sure that your kids wear appropriate clothing and shoes. Loose clothing and drawstrings can easily catch on equipment causing strangulation, and open-toed shoes are more likely to slip and fall. This can cause injuries to the feet, hands, head and neck.

Supervision

Age-appropriate playground equipment and carefully designed play areas can help reduce injuries, but the most important safety factor is active supervision. Kids need a trusted adult to teach them the rules of outdoor play, supervise them while they are using equipment and intervene when their behavior or play gets unsafe. To provide effective supervision, the adults watching kids on playgrounds must know where to look and be able to see everything that is happening. If there are obstructing trees, pieces of equipment or other structures that make it difficult to observe the entire playground at once, it is best to split up the area into supervision zones and move around.

People who supervise kids should also avoid striking up conversations with one another, as this can distract them from their task and hinder their ability to keep an eye on the children. Additionally, they should not use cell phones while they are on the playground, as this can significantly decrease their ability to focus on the children and may lead to missed warnings or misunderstandings of rules.

Last Word

Every year, children 14 and under go to emergency departments with playground-related injuries. Many of these injuries can be prevented with close supervision by adults and properly installed surfaces under and around equipment. Look for impact-absorbing surface material like wood chips or mulch, sand, or shredded rubber on the ground and under and around equipment. Avoid areas with asphalt, concrete or hard-packed soil.

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