In honor of Playground Safety Week, we thought that would be very important to talk about playground safety since it is getting warmer outside and classrooms love to go outside and play. We like to see children outside and having lots of fun, but we also know that children love to venture out into the unknown, and the playgrounds can become quite dangerous. We wanted to share some great tips on playground safety and some resources Kids Safe that is very beneficial for everyone to have. Also, If you are interested in learning more about this topic click on the link to take the course on Playground and Classroom Safety.
Supervise Kids Using Playground Equipment
1. Make Sure that the first thing that you do on the playground is complete a safety sweep. This is to ensure that nothing is on the playground that could be harmful to the children. We always have to be aware. You need to check the equipment to make sure that all pieces are secure and safe. Look for broken plastic items or screws that have come loose. Make sure that you check hidden areas where debris or harmful items could be looking, and check to make sure that all trash is picked up and off the play areas.
2. Go over playground rules before children are allowed on the equipment. Remind them that pushing, shoving, or crowding can be very dangerous and cause serious harm to the children.
3. Make sure that children are wearing appropriate clothing on the playground. Remove necklaces, purses, scarves, or clothing with drawstrings that can get caught on equipment and pose strangulation hazards.
4. Make sure that the children are on appropriate size equipment. Older children become board on small equipment and usually try to do things that are not appropriate and end up getting hurt. They need more challenging activities that will keep them going. Then you have children that are not yet ready for those challenges and end up getting hurt trying to do so.
5. Be alert and always actively be apart of what is going on in the playground. Children are always moving, and with a lot of children outside sometimes it is challenging to keep up, But as a teacher, you must do so. Children love the adult interaction, and that is what you should be doing.
Ensure Safe Surfacing Beneath and Surrounding Playground Equipment
1. Avoid playgrounds with non-impact absorbing surfaces, such as asphalt, concrete, grass, dirt or gravel. These areas should only be utilized for tricycles and ball games. All playground equipment should have some type of absorbent surface to cushion a child’s fall.
2. Recommended surface materials include sand, pea gravel, wood chips, mulch and shredded rubber. Rubber mats, synthetic turf, and other artificial materials are also safe surfaces and require less maintenance.
3. Surfacing should be at least 12 inches deep and extend at least 6 feet in all directions around stationary equipment. Depending on the height of the equipment, surfacing may need to extend farther than 6 feet.
4. Swings are not appropriate types of equipment for a playground in a commercial facility.
Check That Playgrounds Are Inspected and Maintained by Qualified Personnel
1. It is very important to have your playground equipment inspected by a certified playground inspector to ensure the safety of your children and your facility.
2. If there are any hazards, report them immediately and do not allow children to use the equipment until it is safe.