The dirty dozen: Are they hiding in your child's playground?


7. Lack of Supervision:

The supervision of a playground environment directly relates to the overall safety of the environment. A play area should be designed so that it is easy for a parent or caregiver to observe the children at play. Young children are constantly challenging their their own abilities, very often not being able to recognize potential hazards. It is estimated that over forty percent of all playground injuries are directly related to lack of supervision in some way. Parents must supervise their children in some way on the playground!

8. Age-Inappropriate Activities

Children's developmental needs vary greatly from age two to age twelve. In an effort to provide a challenging and safe play environment for all ages it is important to make sure that the equipment in the playground setting is appropriate for the age of the intended user. Areas for pre-school age children should be separate from areas intended for school age children.

9. Lack of Maintenance

In order for playgrounds to remain in "safe' condition a program of systematic, preventive maintenance must be present. There should be no missing, broken or worn-out components. All hardware should be secure. The wood, metal, or plastic should not show signs of fatigue or deterioration. All parts should be stable with no apparent signs of loosening. The surfacing material must also be maintained. Check for signs of vandalism.

10. Pinch, Crush Shearing, and Sharp Edge Hazards

Components in the play environment should be inspected to make sure that there are no sharp edges or points that could cut skin. Moving components such as suspension bridges, track rides, merry-go-rounds, seesaws and some swings should be checked to make sure that there are no moving parts or mechanisms that might crush or pinch a child's finger.

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