Top 11 Playground Hazards
I want to go over the top 11 playground hazards. Over 200,000 kids end up in the emergency room every year. A lot of these hazards could be prevented. So, let’s look at the list and see what we can do here.
1. Number one on the list is safety surfacing. So you need to make sure your safe surfacing is adequate and if it’s a loose
material like the wood chips, you need to maintain that… Sometimes daily. The adequate levels depend on your equipment but a minimum level of nine inches is usually the requirement. On this playground here, we have both wood chips and the poured-in-place rubber.
2. So number two is the use zone or improper space as far as the use zone. You’ve got to make sure that you have at least six feet to the exterior perimeter of your playground, so that’s the minimum requirement from the outside edge to your playground equipment.
3. Number three, protrusions and entrapments. In my other video, I talked about entrapments, head entrapments, and protrusions as well. So, if you have any bolts or anything that sticks out, let’s take a look at those and make sure that we get rid of those in your playgrounds.
4. Number four is insufficient spacing between the equipment on your playground. There’s some high traffic areas such as at the bottom of slides and then also swings. Swings are something that you want to put at the back part of your playground, not in the front where there’s again high traffic, but you want to put certain things like that on the back of
your playground where there is less traffic.
5. Number five, trip hazards. It sounds obvious, but you might be missing these in your playground. It could be a route, a rock, the geotextile that comes up from the loose fill. So, check your playground out and make sure that you don’t have any of these trip hazards.
6. Lack of supervision. Over 40% of the accidents happen because of lack of supervision. So, if you are on a playground
supervising, especially young kids, you’re gonna have a higher success of no accidents on your playgrounds and your kids are gonna be safe. So, make sure the younger kids, especially, are using the correct equipment properly.
7. Number seven, age-appropriate activities. For younger kids, there are some things that just aren’t made for these little
guys. Keep them off the arched ladders, the fire poles or sliding poles and other things that are really recommended for the five to 12-year-old group. So, let’s make sure we put our little kids in the right spot and let the big kids
play in their equipment.
8. Number eight, lack of maintenance. And that goes back to number one with our safety surfacing. When you have that loose fill, that’s the number one issue I see in playgrounds nowadays. It’s either the wood chips or rubber, loose rubber is moved and displaced and, therefore, you don’t have the correct safety surfacing on your playground.
9. Number nine, sharp edges, crush or shearing hazards. So, it sounds pretty obvious, again, but if you see that there is
metal edges on your structure, on the platform, maybe the plastic has come off, it’s worn down. These are things that you should look at. Obviously, the bolts, if there is more than two threads, these should be cut off, make sure they are smooth.
So, you don’t want any sharp pieces on your equipment whatsoever.
10 Number ten, platforms with no guard rails or barriers. Sounds pretty obvious, but sometimes the equipment doesn’t have the right kind of barrier or guard rail on it. So, again I’ll check to make sure that you have the correct barrier for that correct use zone for your kids.
11. Number eleven, last but not least, equipment not recommended for public use. If you have a swing, a double swing, that two kids will sit on and swings back and forth. There’s a lot of weight and inertia swinging back and forth and that’s not recommended ever. Some of the older swings that were made out of horses with this or that, where you can fit two
kids on it and swings back and forth, that’s just not recommended for the playgrounds and that should be removed.
These are some of the things that I look for on my playground inspection. So, let’s make sure you get your playground
certified and inspected. Give me a call and we will make sure your playground is safe. Thank you.