Being Proactive About Playground Safety
Kids LOVE playgrounds! Take a kid to a playground and in seconds they'll be running, climbing, screaming, laughing, and cavorting with their friends. And the best part is, parents love playgrounds too. It gives them a chance to get outside, talk with other moms and dads, and send off their little ones for a few minutes of peace and quiet. Parents also love that playgrounds get their kids away from the TV, video games, and other screens that so often dominate children's attentions. But playgrounds can be dangerous places if they're not properly installed and maintained, and it's typically not the actual playground equipment that's the danger, but the surface the playground sits upon. 75% of all playground injuries result from falls onto improper or poorly maintained surfaces below playground equipment. So how can you tell if your local playground is properly surfaced so that you prevent injuries and ensure happy playtimes?
Start your inspection by looking down. What material is covering the surface of the playground, and is it seamless and level? Many playground accidents occur where differences in height or texture and stiffness create variable surfaces kids trip over or fall awkwardly onto. The surface of the ground below the playground should be completely level and free of bumps and angles.
Also inspect the materials used. The best surface for playgrounds is the Playground Depot Cushion Play flooring. This unique material offers shock absorption to kids, averting potentially dangerous injuries that occur from falls on stiffer, harder surfaces. It also feels soft and springy under the feet, and it can be an excellent addition to any neighborhood playground. Other ideal surfaces include wood chips and loose fill materials that similarly cushion falls, although they can be messier and more difficult to maintain. To combat against high maintenance cost of loose fill surfaces, Playground Depot also offer the Timbers Borders panels that ensure loose fill stays in place so that it can protect your child from falling. Look for the Timbers Borders panels and inspect the depth and quality of the loose fill material to make sure that your playground is safe.
Safety isn’t only limited to the playground equipment areas of parks and recreational areas, and you also want to make sure your child is safe when running and playing on flat, even surfaces such as ball courts. A court surface that is cracked, pot holed, or uneven can cause unnecessary trips and falls, and you shouldn't let your child play when the hard surface is not well maintained. Contact your local parks and recreational department if you feel these surfaces are not safe, and don’t hesitate to leave if you feel there is a risk to your child from inappropriate court surfacing.
You have to be proactive to ensure your child’s safety. When a playground isn’t properly designed and maintained, accidents can occur. Inspect the playground in your local community to make sure that it’s safe and ready for use, and contact local authorities if it’s not. And don’t for get to check Playground Depot for more information on proper maintenance and safety of playgrounds.