Preventing Injuries on the Playground
Children naturally lose their balance when playing on playground equipment, and falls are the leading cause of playground injuries. Bumps and scrapes can be prevented with appropriate surfacing, proper spacing of equipment and regular safety inspections.
Safety surfacing should include wood chips or mulch, sand and shredded rubber. Avoid surfaces like grass, asphalt or concrete that are too hard to cushion a fall. 안전놀이터
Age groups indicate that equipment on a playground has been designed with kids of that age in mind and their developmental level. This includes deck heights, climbing elements and slide heights. Equipment that is too high or challenging for young children may lead to injuries. Conversely, equipment that is too easy for older children could become boring.
The age group for toddlers (ages 6-23 months) is a particularly important one. This is because they must use equipment that is adapted to their size and cognitive abilities. For example, they need low steps or ladders for access to higher platforms, and the fall height must be no taller than 4 feet.
Additionally, they must use equipment that is free of entrapment hazards, such as spaces where a child’s head could get stuck. This type of hazard is particularly dangerous because it can occur during play and often leads to serious injury. It is also a major health risk because CCA (Chlorine Dioxin)-treated wood contains arsenic, a carcinogen that causes irritation to the stomach and intestines and can cause infertility and birth defects in women.
Children fall from playground equipment every now and then, but with the right safety surfacing, those falls don’t have to hurt. Safety surfacing is designed to meet specific fall height standards and provide impact attenuation, reducing the chance of serious injuries.
There are a variety of different safety surfaces used in playgrounds, including mulch, wood chips, sand, pea gravel, or even ground cover made from natural materials. All these options are safe for kids as long as they’re in good condition.
However, the best surface for your playground is one that’s made from a material such as recycled rubber, engineered wood fibers or poured-in-place rubber. These materials are durable, have a high level of shock absorption and elasticity, and can withstand the weather. They are also non-slip and are accessible to kids with physical disabilities, promoting inclusion and diversity.
Even with age-appropriate equipment, proper supervision is key to preventing playground injuries. Adults can help prevent accidents and injuries by encouraging safe play, identifying hazards and intervening when children are behaving unsafely.
Safety playgrounds are designed with a clear line of sight for adults so they can monitor children. Establishing procedures like scan-and-count routines can help supervisors locate children quickly. Other safety protocols, such as establishing a buddy system for younger children and positioning staff members near groups of kids, can also improve supervision.
Make sure that all adults involved in playground supervision have a means to contact the office or 911 in the event of an emergency. This can be as simple as ensuring that all supervisors carry a walkie-talkie or cell phone. It can also be as complex as creating injury and emergency protocols and having them written in a cheat sheet that all supervisors carry with them. Lastly, ensure that a trained first aid person is available to respond to any injury or illness that might occur on the playground.
As children touch surfaces throughout the day, they leave behind microscopic particles of dirt and germs. These particles can cling to equipment and become a breeding ground for diseases. Norovirus, E coli, salmonella and Hepatitis A are just some of the illnesses that may be transmitted by these germs.
Cleaning the surfaces of equipment is an important task that includes scrubbing, pressure washing and rinsing. Scrubbing removes dirt and grime, while rinsing eliminates remaining contaminants and makes surfaces safe to touch. Inspecting the playground on a regular basis helps to ensure that all surfaces are clean and that trip hazards such as sharp edges or loose bolts have been addressed.
Providing ample trash receptacles in the park and instructing visitors to dispose of their garbage properly also aids in keeping the playground sanitary. Posting signage that reminds kids to stay home if they are sick can help to reduce the number of germs that get spread around the playground.