Children should be taught the importance of physical exercise and health at a young age. In fact, children should have at least one hour of moderate exercise every day to maintain a healthy weight. One easy and fun way for kids to get exercise every day is to play on a playground. Playground equipment not only promotes physical exercise, but social interaction as well. However, safety should always be a primary concern when choosing playground equipment. With that in mind, let’s discuss a few safety considerations to help promote safe play.
Surfaces and Equipment
One of the most important factors when choosing outdoor playground equipment is deciding which equipment and surfaces to use. Choosing the right surfaces is important because if kids do fall, they should have a surface that will cushion their fall. Materials like concrete and asphalt are too hard and can cause serious injury. But materials like mulch, sand, or shredded rubber will help prevent injuries. Additionally, the material of the equipment should be carefully considered. Metal equipment can get hot in the sun and burn kids who are using it. So with that in mind, it’s important to choose a material and color that will stay cool and safe to use. Overall, choosing the right materials for the playground is a key step in keeping kids safe.
Sizing and Spacing
The age of the children who will be using the playground can help determine other elements of the area. For example, playground equipment that’s meant for older kids should be separated from the equipment meant for younger kids. This will prevent little ones from trying to use equipment that is too big or complex for them. Additionally, the playground plans should avoid having spaces that kids may be tempted to put their head or other body parts through to prevent them from getting stuck. And lastly, moving equipment, like swings or seesaws, should be kept separate to avoid someone getting injured by passing by. By considering the age of the children who will be using the equipment, a safe and appropriate playground can be designed.
While the playground is being designed, it’s important to think about how the equipment will be maintained. Commercial playground equipment that is not regularly inspected, maintained, and cleaned can lead to children getting hurt. So when choosing materials, think about how much maintenance they’ll need and how they will age. For example, wooden equipment will start to splinter, so that will need to be addressed. In the end, it’s best to choose durable materials that won’t cause problems.
Hopefully, this article provided some great safety tips to help you plan safe, appropriate custom playgrounds. Kids should have a safe area to be active and develop important social skills — and just have fun.