Playgrounds – Getting Started & Next Steps

Enhancing the Safety of Your Playground

As the weather warms and more people move outside to enjoy the warm days, families flock to playgrounds in droves to enjoy time together. Whether they are to be used by a community, or by a single family, playgrounds are a great choice for fun in fresh air. Playground planning is exciting, but it also has a serious component, and that is the safety of children and families. When putting in a playground, there are a lot of important safety features to consider so that your family or community is as safe as possible while enjoying the play space.

The perfect place to start is with the actual play equipment. When considering the structure, the two things to be most mindful of is gaps and corners. If open spaces are in your playset, be sure that a whole child of any size can fit through them and not get stuck, even consider adults who may use the playset with their children, so as not to run into any issues. Obviously, sharp corners can be a big hazard, whether it’s for eyes or bruising of the extremities, so it’s important to inspect any playground equipment and make sure that all sharp corners have been rounded down.

The next place to tackle is the ground below the playground. Many people now know that packed dirt and concrete are safety risks, and that alternative materials should be used. One of the typical alternatives is rubber mulch, as it offers a softer and more cushioned surface that doesn’t degrade over time. An even better alternative to rubber mulch is rubber pour in place playground surfacing. This surfacing is poured in and is in one solid level of rubber, preventing tripping, and offering the same, or more, cushioning like the rubber mulch. Choosing a safe surfaces cuts down of many problems that occur when playing on a playground.

Lastly, it is important to be sure that all of your surfacing extends far enough under all of your equipment, not just the main play structure. For safety, make sure the safe surfacing is under all of the structures of your playground. The standard distance that safe rubber surfaces should extend off the playground is 6 feet. This includes 6 feet off of the fullest extension of the swings, so that even if a child were to jump, the rubber surface would be there to protect them.

Safe playgrounds are the most fun playgrounds, because parents don’t have to be constantly worried about their children. By considering important safety features like spacing, rounding corners, and the play surface, you can rest-assured that you have done all you can when it comes to offering a safe place for families to play and enjoy their free time.
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