Three Ways to Foster a Culture of Safety on Your Playground
Did you know that every year, there are more than 218,000 playground injuries treated at emergency departments in the USA? When it comes to injuries there are a number of potential risks for children which can lead to minor or serious falls, or accidents.
- 44% of children fall into, on or out of commercial playground equipment.
- 23% of playground injuries are due to broken or outdated equipment which no longer meet established safety standards.
- 36% of children sustain fractures due to playground injuries.
- 20% of injuries cause contusions, cuts or scrapes.
- Children aged 5-9 years are the most likely to sustain serious playground injuries.
We would like to discuss some planning and safety measures that can help your community reduce the instances of playground injury by providing some resources and tips to help you foster a culture of safe play on or around your commercial playground structures.
1. Supervision and Signage
Choosing to put signs that remind people to engage in safe activities at the playground may seem unusual, but studies have shown that signs can be an effective way to remind park patrons to use common sense when using playground equipment.
- Consider bilingual signs (Spanish and English) for safety guides on your playground.
- Signage should advise that children must be supervised by an attending adult before using the playground equipment.
- Age and maximum play load for each commercial playground structure should be posted to avoid injuries or unsafe conditions.
2. Install Quality Playground Surfacing
What is the likelihood of injuries sustained on playgrounds where quality playground surfacing has been installed? No matter what, children will sustain some falls while playing outdoors, but did you know that playground surfacing reduces both the rate and severity of injuries?
Whether you choose recycled manmade materials such as Loose Fill Rubber Mulch or natural, recycled materials like Engineered Wood Fiber, you can reduce the instances of injury for children by up to 50% with the installation of a quality playground surfacing that reduces the impact of falls.
3. Conduct Playground Safety Audits
There are resources available to help you foster a culture of safety in your own playground. Visit the website for the US Consumer Product Safety Commission for lists and recommendations to help you design a park or playground that puts safety first. The website provides recommendations on burn prevention, wooden structures, playground surfacing options and other considerations for park planning.
If you are not sure where to begin assessing the safety of your playground, start with a safety and standard compliance audit. Playground specialists can inspect your equipment and identify any worn components or structures that may provide a safety risk for children, and provide recommendations for replacement to make your park a safe place to learn and play.
Contact our playground professionals for advice and resources to help you complete a safety audit and ensure that your equipment meets safety standards. Call us at: 1-888-401-6446.