How to Create a Safe Playground Environment

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Playgrounds provide children with the chance to stretch themselves with developmentally-appropriate risk-taking. Safety should always remain top of mind.

Many 안전놀이터 injuries result from children falling from equipment onto hard surfaces like concrete, blacktop or grass. For the safest playground experience possible, layer safe surfacing options like wood chips, shredded rubber and mats to cushion falls as much as possible.

Age-Appropriate Equipment

Age-appropriate equipment is essential to creating a safe playground, since children develop physically at different rates. Children aged 6 months through 12 years have unique needs for their bodies, muscles, balance and coordination as well as intellectual, emotional and social growth.

Toddlers require low climbing structures and crawl tunnels to hone their gross motor skills, while preschool-age children need low balance beams to improve their balance and coordination. School-age children can challenge themselves further with longer slides, tumbling chains and spinners that offer exciting and dynamic experiences that stimulate both their bodies and minds.

Age-appropriate play equipment keeps kids engaged while decreasing frustration caused by trying to use equipment that is too advanced or large for them. Furthermore, providing children with age-appropriate play equipment ensures all children can access engaging physical challenges within a supportive and safe environment.

Impact-Absorbing Surfaces

Playground safety surfacing plays a pivotal role in mitigating injuries caused by falls on playground equipment. Falls may result in minor cuts to serious fractures and concussions; using proper surfacing will mitigate these risks so children can play safely while remaining active without fear of serious harm.

Impact-absorbing surfaces like bonded rubber mulch, engineered wood fiber and poured-in-place rubber provide soft and cushioning surfaces to absorb shock when children fall to help avoid head injuries, one of the primary playground risks.

Quality playground surfacing materials must also be highly durable and remain cool in direct sunlight – this makes bonded rubber mulch, made from recycled tires, an eco-friendly choice that uses waste material in innovative ways.

When selecting playground surfacing products, ensure they are IPEMA-approved and exceed manufacturer fall height requirements. In addition, ensure there is a certified report from their manufacturer with all HIC and G-max test results over various temperatures, drop heights and test times.

Best-In-Class Safety Surfacing

Playgrounds provide children with an enjoyable place to run around and interact with peers, but unfortunately they’re also one of the primary places where children become injured – often depending on what materials are used as playground surfacing materials.

Safety surfacing on playgrounds refers to the surface that lies underneath and around all equipment, designed to cushion children’s falls and reduce head impact injuries. It must conform with strict safety standards such as ASTM F1292 which measures shock-absorbing ability with metrics like G-Max and HIC.

Popular unitary surfacing options include bonded rubber mulch made of clean, shredded recycled rubber. With its natural look and low maintenance needs, bonded rubber mulch offers high durability while meeting ADA accessibility guidelines. Other surfaces available to meet this goal are engineered wood fiber (EWF), pour-in-place rubber, and synthetic turf; each has their own set of benefits that help safeguard children against serious injury.

Supervision

Children learn by example and experience, so adults must set an example for safe playground behavior to keep children safe. This means avoiding distractions like playing with or distracting the children with games while supervising, talking on their phones while supervising, texting other adults while supervising, or texting while supervising.

An ideal starting point when creating a supervision plan is with an environmental map and sight lines. By doing so, determine which areas a supervisor can see from each station as well as any obstacles that prevent them from overseeing all areas.

Encourage children to explore their limits while keeping risky activities within developmental capacities. Also avoid pushing, shoving and overcrowding on or around equipment as this may distract children and alter spatial judgment leading to missteps or falls. Furthermore, create and implement a process for closing the playground when hazards can’t be corrected immediately – for instance a work order system or maintenance request form are two potential approaches for doing this.

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