Safe Start Baby was recently interviewed by Holmes Magazine regarding safety features for home playgrounds. When planning or building a play area or playground for your children, there are many safety concerns to take into account. Each year, more than 200,000 children younger than 14 are treated for playground-related injuries nationwide, the following tips will help you create a safe and fun place for your children to play:
- Make sure that the flooring on the playground reduces the effects of a fall rather than worsens it. This can be done by using wood chips or rubber mulch for flooring. Avoid the use of hard surfaces such as grass, sand, and asphalt as they will exacerbate the effects of a fall.
- Always make allowance for more space. As a basic rule, the floor should extend to over six feet beyond the play area. If the fort is above 4ft, it would be a good idea to not leave the guard rails open. Keep them close together to prevent kids from getting their head stuck in between them. For kids that are of school age, make sure that the railings are above thirty eight inches (38in).
- Securely anchor your playground equipment into the ground and make sure it is level.
- Watch out for areas where your child's head or neck could get stuck. Spaces might be big enough for your child's body but might trap his or her head or neck. Safe spaces are smaller than 3 ½ inches and larger than nine inches. Places to check include the spaces between the steps on a slide, and spaces between railings.
- Consult additional resources such as the US Consumer Product Safety Commission for additional tips on building a safe home playground: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/pg1.pdf.
One thing that you always have to remember that no matter how "safe" the playground is, nothing compares to adequate supervision. You must make sure that you are watching your child at all times to ensure that injuries do not occur.