5 Steps To Safer Home Playgrounds

5 Steps To Safer Home Playgrounds https://learningcentre.statefarm.ca/safety-2/home-1/5-steps-to-safer-home-playgrounds/ bb3 Mar 28, 2012

By Staff Writer State Farm™ Employee

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Home playgrounds may be smaller and less elaborate than their public park counterparts, but they still pose a risk for accidents and injuries. In fact, approximately 20 percent of all playground injuries happen at home, according to Safe Kids Canada.

To help make your children’s play areas safer, follow these five tips:

  1. Select age-appropriate equipment. When choosing safe play structures, consider your child’s age and developmental level, says Kristen Gane, program manager for Safe Kids Canada. For instance, if your children are under age 5, make sure equipment is no taller than 1.5 metres, and avoid challenging climbing apparatuses. “You can always expand the playground and add new components as children grow,” Gane says.
  2. Follow safety standards. To avoid playtime collisions, it’s best to leave 1.8 metres between any two pieces of play equipment. And never buy play structures that use lead paint or wood treated with pesticides or creosote. Gane recommends following the guidelines created by the Canadian Standards Association for public play areas. “Since someone else has done all that research, why not use it,” she asks. Another good source? The guidelines in the Outdoor Home Playground Safety Handbook from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  3. Cushion falls. Tumbles and spills happen. That’s why it’s important to cover the ground under play structures with shock-absorbing materials such as playground sand, wood chips or rubber surfacing, which are available at home improvement stores. Layer your preferred material 15–30 centimetres deep to soften landings, says Gane.
  4. Supervise play. Young children may be unaware of their limitations—especially if they see older siblings or friends doing something challenging. Even older kids can benefit from an adult keeping an eye on things. “It’s important for children to be active in a safe environment,” says Gane. “You don’t want to relax your vigilance too much.”
  5. Inspect play structures. While supervising your children, also look for signs of wear and tear in the equipment and structures—cracks, splinters and loose bolts—as well as sharp objects and tripping hazards. Make sure structures are firmly anchored to the ground and that nuts, bolts and hooks are covered and closed so they don’t snag children’s clothing. Lastly, regularly inspect your surfacing material to make sure its depth hasn’t eroded—and that it’s free of foreign objects.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under any policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information. We assume no liability in connection with the information nor the suggestions made.