Celebrate National Playground Safety Week With Free Maintenance and Supervision Guides
Let's Do a Safety Check
April 22-26, 2019 is National Playground Safety Week in the United States. The National Recreation and Park Association reports one-third of accidents on public playgrounds are a result of incomplete or neglected maintenance, and that 84% of injuries could be prevented with proper maintenance and supervision.
To help you maintain proper maintenance of your playground, GameTime offers a comprehensive Playground Maintenance Guide with lots of information on how to keep your playground in top shape year after year. We also publish a Playground Supervision Guide with tips on how to prepare a supervision plan for parents and/or adult caregivers. During National Playground Safety Week GameTime is offering both of these publications as PDF downloads, free of charge.
Most Common Playground Hazards
According to the U.S. Consumer Protection Commission these are some of the most common hazards that you should watch out for and prepare a maintenance plan to prevent.
- Improper protective surfaces: Fall surfaces should be made of wood chips, mulch, wood fibers, sand, pea gravel, shredded tires or rubber mats and should be at least 12 inches deep
- Inadequate use zone: The area under and around play equipment where a child might fall should be a minimum of 6 feet in all directions.
- Protrusion hazards: Beware of hardware that is capable of impaling or cutting a child (bolts, hooks, rungs, etc.), or catching strings or items of clothing. Children should never wear drawstring hoodies at the playground.
- Head entrapment hazards: There should be no openings that measure between 3 ½ and 9 inches.
- Overcrowded play area: Swings should be set far enough away from other equipment that children won't be hit by a moving swing.
- Trip hazards, like rocks or tree stumps
- Lack of supervision: Children under age 4 shouldn't play on climbing equipment or horizontal ladders.
- Age inappropriate activities: Spring-loaded seesaws are best for young children. Avoid adjustable seesaws with chains because children can crush their hands under the chains. A traditional seesaw should not hit the ground. "Whirls" or "roundabouts" are best for school-age children.
- Lack of maintenance: Metal or wooden swing seats should be replaced with soft seats, and equipment should not be split or splintered.
- Sharp edges on equipment
- Platforms with no guardrails
Become a Maintenance and Supervision Expert
GameTime also provides maintenance training courses across the country. These half-day workshops cover a wide range of safety and maintenance topics, and attendees are eligible for CEU credits. Contact us to request more information or to schedule a workshop.