It’s incredibly important that children engage in activity that stimulates brain development. In fact, numerous studies have found that children not receiving an adequate amount of motor activity in the first six years of their life could end up having to deal with a lifetime of limited brain power. Considering that, one of the best ways for children to engage in motor activities is through outdoor play. With that in mind, here are four important playground safety tips for park administrators.
- Label Equipment With Recommended Age Ranges
There are usually a vast array of playground items for children to use. Unfortunately, these children might be injured as the result of playing on equipment that isn’t appropriate for their age range. For instance, certain smaller types of playground equipment tend to be safer for extremely young children. On the other hand, larger pieces of park playground equipment need to only be used by older children. If you want parents to know which toys are recommended for an age group, consider placing labels on or near these pieces of equipment.
- Ensure Play Areas Have Plenty of Loose Fill Material
You’ve likely seen playgrounds that feature enclosed areas. Within these enclosed playground areas are what is known as loose fill material. As a rule of thumb, it is recommended that park playground equipment is surrounded by loose fill material with a depth of at least 12 inches. This material helps to protect children by providing them with a more cushioned landing than they would receive from concrete, grass, or dirt.
- Perform Regular Park Equipment Maintenance Checks
It’s imperative that you perform regular maintenance checks on your park. While performing these checks, you’ll want to look for any pieces of park playground equipment that are starting to show signs of wear. That being said, it makes sense that you’re unable to be around your park around the clock. With that in mind, it’s wise to leave either a phone number or email address for parents to report any damage. In turn, you’ll be able to receive immediate notification of a potential issue. With that in mind, it never hurts to ensure that you have plenty of frequently utilized replacement parts on hand.
- Have an Adequate Amount of Trash Cans
While it might seem an odd fit on this list, you’ll want to make sure you have enough trash cans surrounding your park. Unfortunately, park goers that are unable to find trash cans might begin leaving these items on the ground. This creates the potential danger of children regularly coming into contact with trash. In addition, large amounts of waste are known to attract nearby rodents. Therefore, having enough trash cans around your park leaves no one wondering where to dispose of waste.
To summarize, there are several important park playground safety tips to follow. Having a park that remains properly maintained provides families with a reliable source of fun away from their respective homes. In fact, research conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that children between the ages of 8 to 18 spend four and half hours per day watching some form of television. Considering that, outdoor play at a playground helps children foster their motor skills while getting them out of the house. Ensuring that all of your park playground equipment is adequately maintained provides families with a safe and fun way to enjoy the great outdoors.