The squeals and cries of our rambunctious, healthy kids enjoying their outdoor fun in the lawn are reassuring and comforting for parents to listen to – provided that these shouts do not become screams of a collision. The backyard is supposed to be a fun place for exercise and play, not a risk zone. Young children need the physical benefits of exercise, motor skills development, and fresh air, not to mention a place to work off their boundless energy.
Unfortunately, annually families of approximately 200,000 children face injuries related to dangerous playground areas and equipment, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. An involve house playground equipment, the rest happens at playgrounds. Most of the injuries are the result of falls. Tragically, about 15 children die each year, largely due to strangulation.
You Can Keep Your Children Safe
Luckily, these tragedies are preventable. Combined with adult supervision, proper playground construction and maintenance can greatly minimize the possibility of harm.
Practice Playground Safety at Home, in School, and the Park
This quick-course has been written to help alert you to the danger signals in play areas. By taking precautions with your play 13, you may take charge. And you’re able to take a new look in playgrounds for the dangers. These include lack of falls, lack of guardrails to prevent falls, head entrapment hazards, along with other hazards.
Cushion Falls With Protective Surfacing
Since nearly 60% of all injuries are caused by falls to the ground, protective surfacing under and around all playground equipment is critical to reducing the risk of serious head injury. And because head impact injuries from a drop can be life-threatening, the surface could be made, the less likely any harm will be intense. Get Gas Sand Separators here and start your project!
Of course, all accidents due to falls can’t be prevented no matter what playground surfacing material is used.
What Should You Use?
Loose-fill surfacing materials. These include shredded tires double shredded bark mulch, wood chips, fine sand, or gravel that is fine. The greater the depth. Loose-fill materials should not be installed on hard surfaces such as asphalt or concrete.
Artificial synthetic surfaces. These include rubber or rubber over rubber compositions, and tiles or foam mats urethane. The first price is greater but less maintenance is required. Be sure to ask the producer for evaluation data on shock absorption. Some substances require installation over a hard surface while others do not.
How Much Should You Use?
If utilizing loose-fill material in your home, keep a constant depth of at least 6 inches of material. 12 or 9 inches is recommended. The cushioning benefits of sand and gravel increase at 12 inches, according to the CPSC.
What is the Buffer Zone?
Create a buffer zone, coated with a protective surfacing material, under and around all equipment where a child might fall. The surfacing material should extend at least 6 feet in all directions from the outside of this equipment. To prevent additional injury in the fall, this place must be free of equipment and barriers that might strike a child.
Things to Avoid
Do NOT Use Concrete or Asphalt. Falls on concrete and asphalt may result in severe head injury and death. Do not place playground equipment above these surfaces.
Prevent Grass and Dirt. Turf and grass lose their ability to absorb shock through wear and environmental problems. Earth surfaces such as hard-packed dirt and soils. Always use protective surfacing.
Dig a Pit
Loose-Fill (sand, fine sand, mulch, wood chips, etc.) material requires a process of containment such as a retaining barrier or excavated pit. Additionally, it requires good drainage beneath the substance, periodic renewal or replacement, and constant maintenance (e.g., leveling, grading, sifting, raking) to keep its depth and to remove foreign matter.
Replace Loose-Fill Periodically
Wet weather, freezing temperatures, regular use over time, and contamination will decompose, pulverize, and streamlined substance. Be sure to renew or replace it until it turns hard.
The Nitty Gritty on Sand and Gravel
Even though cheap, and is the least desired option. Sand can scatter easily out of your containment area. It hardens when wet, is abrasive to floor surfaces attracts animals as a litter box, and when tracked indoors. If sprinkled, gravel is more difficult to walk on and may pose a tripping hazard.
Swing Security Zones
Swing sets must be securely anchored. Swings also should have a buffer zone with protective surfacing extending a minimum of 6 feet from the outer edge of the support structure on every side. The use zone in front and back of the swing should be larger and stretch out a minimum distance of twice the height of the swing as measured from the ground on the support arrangement to the swing hangers.
Rules on Swing Spacing
To prevent injuries from impact with moving swings, swings shouldn’t be too close together or too close to support structures. Swing spacing should be 8 inches in the support framework and at least 8 inches between frozen swings. The clearance between the floor and underside of the swing seat should be 8 inches.
That is the way to create the ideal buffer zone between your kid and possible injury. Now, read on for equipment security guidelines.
Consider a builder if you aren’t handy. Poor playgrounds that are installed could be an added hazard.
Playgrounds should be inspected routinely. Inspect protective surfacing, and maintain the appropriate depth. These requirements should be eliminated, adjusted, or repaired immediately to prevent accidents:
Exposed equipment footings.
Scattered debris, litter, rocks, or tree roots.
Rust and cracked paint on metal parts.
Splinters, large cracks, and decayed wood components.
Deterioration and rust on structural elements that connect to the floor.
Missing or damaged equipment parts, such as handholds, guardrails, swing seats.
- Install Guard Rails – Platforms more than 30″ above the ground should have guardrails to prevent falls.
- Prevent Unsafe Openings – In general, openings that are closed on either side, should be less than 3 1/2″ or more than 9″. Openings that are between 3′ 1/2″ and 9″ present ahead entrapment and strangling danger.
- Eliminate Pinch or Crush Points – There should be no exposed moving parts that may present a pinching or crushing hazard.
- Never use Bicycle Helmets on the Playground – Bike helmets may get trapped in openings on playground equipment, hanging, or resulting in strangulation.
- Prevent Dressing Children in Stringed or Loose Clothing around the Playground. Loose clothing strings and items placed around the throat can catch on playground equipment and strangle children.
Remember to supervise, and instruct your child play. Teach your child not to walk or play close and never to tie ropes to playground equipment.
It is not hard to make your playground safe once you work from the bottom up.
Install protective surfacing on the floor, use safety equipment, and maintain your play area.