Maintaining a Safe Playground: 5 Tips for Keeping a Play Area in Check
Maintaining a playground in your own backyard is a responsibility that any parent needs to take quite seriously. When your child’s playground is at their school or the local park, it is typically some employee’s job to walk around every morning and make sure everything is on the up and up, but in a home playground, you probably don’t have one of those안전놀이터 employees on staff. That makes it your job.
So from time to time, especially when you know your children are going to be spending some time playing, you should do a safety inspection.
One of the first things you want to check for is deterioration of any kind, whether from weather or wear and tear. Broken equipment can cause unnecessary hazards, and weather can have a devastating effect on certain materials over time. Plastic, for example, will become brittle when exposed to extreme cold or sunshine. Metal can corrode or rust. Wood, which is the most durable, is even subject to some splintering and cracking-it’s isn’t indestructible.
Keep a very close eye on plastic to see if it has gotten weak, and run your hand over wooden surfaces to check for spots that may need to be sanded. Metal materials, on the other hand, typically show visible wear when they deteriorate.
Also check all moving parts and devices to make sure they still have a smooth action. Tell your children to let you know anytime is broken or seems out of whack, but even then, you will need to do your own periodic check.
Take a look at the surface of your play area as well. Most are filled with some type of loose material, such as sawdust, wood chips, or gravel. The thing with loose materials is that the more packed they get, the less padding they offer to a falling child. Make sure that the running around or the weather has not begun to pack it down, and every once in a while you may want to dig it up and turn it over a little bit to loosen it up.
You also want to look in the loose material and keep an eye out for glass, stones, or rocks that have migrated into it. It goes without saying that these should be removed immediately. While you’re at it, do a walk around the entire yard, at least in the vicinity of the play area, and look for anything that might cause a hazard.
Other possible safety hazards are introduced by bolts or other protrusions that may catch a child’s clothes or skin.
When you are done, make sure to put away any toys that children have left strewn about or tools that an adult may have left out after doing any work. Chemicals left in the yard are always, of course, a huge no-no when kids are around, but it’s always a good idea to keep an eye out in case someone made a blunder-it does happen.