Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Playground Safety: It's Everybody's Responsibility

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Playground Safety: It's Everybody's Responsibility

Article excerpt

More than 200,000 playground accidents require emergency hospital treatment every year, and, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 60 percent of these accidents involve children under the age of 6. Many of these injuries could be prevented if everyone involved with the playground experience made an effort to guarantee safe conditions. Playground safety is a team effort, and it starts at the earliest design stages and continues through to the playground's day-to-day operations. From the designer to the owner to the user, we all must make it a priority to ensure that safety prevails.

The major causes of accidents on the playground are improper use of equipment, lack of supervision, and lack of maintenance. These three categories account for 77 percent of the primary causes of playground injuries. Most injuries occur when a child falls to the ground, hence the genuine need for a protective surfacing of adequate depth. Surfacing materials are varied in composition, as are their costs. For example, loose-fill materials will require more maintenance than will alternatives of a more stable and permanent nature.

It is also important to develop a maintenance program that includes a checklist system and a record-maintenance profile system. …

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