Just because something has been designed to be safe, does not mean that it will be used safely. Children have a tendency to find an alternative use for every object that exists in the world, your pots are drums, grass is a delicious new flavor of chewing gum and that nutritious plate of food you have prepared makes a wonderful abstract motif on the wall.
One of the benefits of pre-manufactured commercial playgrounds over custom build pieces is that safety features have been engineered into the design to make them as safe as possible for your children to play on. Commercial playground manufacturers have to meet or exceed all ASTM and NPSI guidelines for safety, right down to the number of exposed threads on a bolt. Most of the inherent safety features on a commercial playground you will never notice, but trust us, they are there, and the engineers and institutes that have conceived these playground safety guidelines have thought of every possible contingency and scenario.
There are a few things when it comes to playground equipment that we can do to ensure that it is safe.
Here is a quick list:
1) Make sure to use age appropriate equipment, never let younger children play on playground designed for older children.
2) Always check the integrity of the playground equipment. If something is broken, close the playground until it is fixed by a professional.
3) Keep a watchful eye on protective surfacing levels. Surfacing will tend to wear out in the areas of a playground that are most dangerous, usually around slides and swings. Always keep a supply of playground surfacing material handy and replenish these areas as the degrade.
The most important way to make a playground safe is with a watchful eye. Playground safety surfacing is designed to provide a layer of protection in the event that a child accidentally falls. Too often parents and people in a supervisory roll assume that if a child falls on to a protective surface he or she will not be injured, protective playground surfacing is a last resort against injury, nothing more. It is important to never let a child use playground equipment in a manner other than it was originally intended. You should always be sure to regulate not only how children use the playground equipment, but the number of children on a single piece of equipment at any given time. A crowded slide can be a very dangerous place for a two year old.
Ultimately, a Child’s safety is the responsibility of parents and supervisors, we always try our best to make sure that your playground is safe, but no amount of pre-planning in the world will be as useful as vigilant supervision on a commercial playground.