Ensuring playground equipment is safe
Posted on 7th December 2021
Old playgrounds and playgrounds that aren’t well maintained can often be more of a danger than fun for children to play on.
Old playgrounds and playgrounds that aren’t well maintained can often be more of a danger than fun for children to play on. They do not look appealing towards children if they are old, dull and a hazard to them. We are not protecting our children’s wellbeing but allowing them to potentially hurt themselves or others on dangerous equipment. Here we will point out some of the most important factors for keeping your playground as safe as possible.
Choosing the appropriate equipment for your school or playground can be one of the most important steps. You will need to consider how many children may use the apparatus at once and how much weight it will need to withstand. This may help you decide which materials and equipment may suit your playground best. You should also choose equipment that is a suitable age range for the children that will be using the equipment.
Like any other product with much usage, playground equipment will wear and tear over time, but if it is maintained well it will last. Keeping the equipment well maintained will ensure the safety of the products and keep them up to date. You should always check playgrounds regularly for things such as loose screws, corroding materials, broken pieces of equipment and uneven surfaces that could be a trip hazard. Equipment that uses natural materials such as wood, should also be checked for rotting and insect infestation as this can weaken the strength of the wood.
Choosing the right surface for your playground is also a very important step when designing your playground as surfaces that are impact absorbing will decrease some of the impact should a child ever fall or have an accident. The important aspect to take into account here is the Critical Fall Height for each piece of equipment you have installed, especially swings and climbing frames. This is simply the highest point that a child can reach and possibly fall from, measured from the ground. Safety surfaces, even those including shock pads, will not always stop injuries happening but they will significantly reduce how severe the injury could be. Safety surfaces would also need to be extended out from the equipment in accordance with that fall height.
The surface below the equipment needs to be assessed to ensure it is the most suitable for the critical fall height and meets the needs of the British Standards EN 1177 (2018). Some of the most effective surfacing options are the very cost-effective honey-comb ground mats and the wet pour that uses rubber crumbs to create and shock proof base. Consider that any loose fillings of surfacing may need to be topped up overtime, which may be common in areas that are used often such as underneath swing areas.
One important point to consider is that children always need to be supervised when using play equipment. A useful tip would also be for adults or supervisors to teach children about taking turns and that pushing on playgrounds can be dangerous. Adults could also help to show children how equipment works so they do not injure themselves trying ways that are incorrect.
If you would like to browse any of our products that may be suitable for your children’s age group or would like to replace some of your old equipment, please get in touch with our team on 0116 402 9099 or view our products here.
Share this post: