How safe is your church playground? While it’s expected that kids may scrape their knee or get a few bumps playing outdoors, a poorly maintained playground can cause serious injuries.
According to the CDC, more than 200,000 children visit the emergency room each year for playground-related injuries. Nearly half of these are severe.
Use these tips to help ensure that your playground remains a safe space for your youngest members.
- Provide a Safe Landing
According to the National Program for Playground Safety, more than 70 percent of all playground injuries are falls. The material and condition of a playground’s fall surfacing can greatly impact the severity of injuries.
Loose-fill material, either organic or inorganic, typically provides excellent protection for little ones, but these require more maintenance than compact materials.
For the best protection, regularly check and refill loose-fill surfacing material to maintain a recommended depth of 12 inches. Don’t forget to also remove debris and litter from surfacing. as well.
- Maintain the Fun, Manage the Risk
In between professional inspections, keep an eye out for broken or missing equipment. Fixing issues as they arise can help kiddos stay safe and cut down on future repair costs. Regularly check for rust, loose bolts, splinters and cracks.
Be especially mindful of open S-hooks and other things that could catch clothing and lead to injury – most fatalities on playgrounds involve strangulation.
Visit the website below for a Playground Safety Checklist to help you identify potential hazards.
- Keep a Watchful (and Active) Eye
Be a playground superhero with active supervision. Active supervision is more than having an adult present – it’s being attentive and proactive. Supervising adults should be mindful of age-appropriate activities and equipment, as well as safety guidelines.
Here is a quick list of actions supervisors can take while out in the field:
- Touch-test equipment for extreme heat in the summer and check for icy equipment during the cooler months.
- Check for sharp points or edges on equipment.
- Look out for trip hazards – tree stumps, rocks, foreign objects.
- Continually scan and listen to the area.
Providing a safe space where kids can play and be active is essential to any daycare, especially one managed by a religious organization.
Ensuring that your playground is well-maintained and has active supervision when in use will help protect the kids in your care.
For additional playground safety resources, visit www.glatfelterministrycare.com.