Above 80% of all playground injuries involved falls between 2009 and 2014, and in most of these cases, kids fell on unsafe surfaces. To prevent this, here are some precautions:
- Blacktop, asphalt, and concrete are unsafe surfaces. Even packed earth, soil, and grass surfaces aren’t safe as they lose their cushioning quality with time.
- There must be no debris or standing water to prevent trippings and falls.
- Rubber surfacing of any kind is the best choice. Rubber surfaces in playgrounds have been found to have the lowest rate of injuries; carrying 1/5th of the risk associated with concrete surfaces. It even allows easy movements of wheelchairs.
- Engineered wood fiber surfacing is also safe.
As fast-moving playground equipment, swings often cause kids’ injuries. Therefore, as precautions:
- Swings must be made of soft materials like plastic or rubber.
- Children should sit and not kneel or stand on the swing. They must swing with a firm grip, and when done, get off only after the swing stops fully.
- Kids must not walk behind or in front of or run into moving swings.
- Only one child must ride a swing at a time.
Children have to be taught to cooperate when using a seesaw. Unless it has a spring center that avoids sudden contact with the playground, a seesaw isn’t for preschoolers. Nevertheless, here are some safety tips:
- Only one kid should use a seesaw seat at a time.
- Children must always face each other while seated.
- They should ride while holding on firmly with both hands, and keep their feet to either side.
- Children must stand away from a moving seesaw, and not climb onto it, rock or stand in the middle, or stand beneath a raised one.
If used carefully, slides are safe. Here are some precautions:
- Kids must climb the slide’s ladder while holding the handrail, and taking one step at a time. They must not climb the slide itself to reach the top.
- Children must sit up and then slide down their feet first instead of their stomach, back, or head.
- Only one kid must slide down at a time.
- The slide’s bottom should be clear before a child slides down. After reaching the bottom, they must move away from the slide’s end to clear it for others to descend.
Climbing Equipment Safety
Some safety tips for climbing equipment are:
- Climbing equipment, whether including ropes, ladders, arches, or rock climbing walls, must be made of sturdy material that can resist all the climbing tension.
- Children must use both hands while climbing, maintain a distance from the one in front of them, and be cautious about swinging feet.
- When dropping, children must jump down while not hitting the equipment. They should bend the knees well and land on both their feet.
Adult supervision is the key to ensure that children use all the equipment safely, and act responsibly towards each other in the playground. Sanitization must follow after using every ride. Always remember health and happiness resides in safety!