Playgrounds are a great place for children to be active and socialize with friends, but they can also be dangerous. Despite safety guidelines and adult supervision, kids do get injured on playground equipment. Safe playground design can reduce injuries by ensuring that there is sufficient surfacing underneath and around equipment and proper spacing of equipment. In addition, it is important to know what to look for to ensure safety.
One of the most important aspects of 안전놀이터 is age-appropriate equipment. Kids can easily feel frustrated when they try to use equipment that is too advanced for their physical abilities, and this can discourage them from playing at all. In addition to being physically appropriate, play elements for children ages 0 through 23 months should focus on their developing sensory systems. They should be introduced to a wide range of textures, materials and colors through play equipment like low balance beams, crawl tunnels and activity panels.
For children ages 2-5 years, they should be encouraged to use their imagination and develop their social skills through collaborative play activities like swings or spinners. They should also be challenged with equipment that enhances their balance, coordination and core strength such as low climbing structures and swings. This equipment should be accompanied by safety surfacing that offers proper fall protection based on the height of the equipment.
Best-In-Class Safety Surfacing
One of the most important aspects of safety playgrounds is the proper surfacing. The right surface will cushion falls and prevent head injuries from becoming more severe. It should also be able to absorb the shock of kids hitting their heads on equipment like monkey bars and swings. Solid rubber surfaces are popular because they offer ADA accessibility and come in a variety of color options. Poured-in-place (PIP) rubber functions just like it sounds—a layer of solid rubber is poured over a sub-base, creating a smooth and cushioned surface that’s easy for strollers and wheelchairs to navigate.
Bonded rubber offers a similar look to PIP, but is more affordable. This unitary surfacing is made from clean, recycled shredded rubber tires that are bonded together using a polyurethane binder. It’s easily customized with inlaid shapes and themed designs for a more visually appealing playground surface. GT Impax bonded rubber is available in a range of colors to fit your design aesthetic.
Inclusive Playground Equipment
A playground that is inclusive allows all children to play together. It teaches children to interact with each other and break down barriers of disability. In addition to age-appropriate equipment, the playground should also be free of sharp points and edges. These include protruding bolt ends, rungs of ladders and netting, and the end of ropes on cargo nets. Using a naturalistic observational methodology, this study investigated the use of an inclusive playground designed to be physically accessible and welcoming to children of all ages and abilities. Observations were made of the types of play behaviours and social interactions observed as well as the activity levels and solitary play of children during their visits.
The findings suggest that this inclusive playground was used by children of all ages and abilities to engage in active play at a fairly equal rate. However, the inclusion of equipment intended for older users may have contributed to a higher incidence of collisions between infants and toddlers with older children as well as an over-stimulation of younger children.
One of the most promising ways to prevent playground injuries is to increase the quantity and quality of adult supervision. Empirical evidence suggests that supervision prevents injury by a variety of mechanisms: supervisors teach kids playground rules; they stop children from behaving impulsively; they change children’s attribution of risk; and they influence children to avoid unsafe behaviors. To make sure that adults can supervise kids effectively, the playground should be designed with a clear view from all areas of the play space. Identifying areas where the sight lines are blocked by rocks, trees or other equipment and establishing additional supervision zones can help.
It’s also important to encourage parents and kids to wear proper attire while at the playground, including clothes that don’t catch on equipment or pose a strangulation hazard (e.g., necklaces). Finally, enforcing the “wait your turn” rule can help deter accidents caused by too many kids on a piece of equipment at once.
The Bottom Lines
Playgrounds can offer kids fresh air, friends and fun. But faulty equipment, improper surfaces and unsafe behavior can lead to injuries that can be serious. Most playground injuries are from falls to surfaces – make sure that there is proper surfacing under and around all equipment. Acceptable surfaces include wood fiber/mulch, sand or pea gravel.