National Playground Safety Week 2016 is April 25-29!
National Playground Safety Week is a time to focus on children’s outdoor play environments. A time to pledge to use good judgment when playing. A time for gratitude for all the adults who work tirelessly on maintaining our playgrounds.
What You Can Do
Playgrounds don’t become safer all by themselves. They need people like you to take action! So what can you do? Here are some suggestions:
- Design and distribute surveys to discover favorite and least favorite equipment, as well as recurring playground problems and injuries.
- Send letters to your state governor encouraging them to proclaim National Playground Safety Week.
- Create and hang posters in schools and community areas outlining S.A.F.E. playground practices.
- Complete playground equipment safety checks and evaluations.
- Challenge your school to an injury-free week on the playground.
- Host a guest speaker to discuss safety on the playground.
- Check out your local playgrounds. If there is hard surfacing, such as asphalt, concrete, dirt, or grass underneath play equipment, call the owner and politely voice your concern. Ask if there is anything you can do to help with the transformation to safe surfacing.
- Write to the editor of your hometown newspaper commenting on any playground safety issues in your local community. Give credit to those facilities with safe playgrounds as well.
- With children, make a maximum of five playground rules that they can remember and follow.
Do you know that over 200,000 children are injured each year on America’s playgrounds? The majority of injuries occur on public playground equipment with falls being the leading cause of injuries. We at ivalueSafety.com would like to take this opportunity to share both playground S.A.F.E. factors and Head to Toe safety (tips):
There are four contributing factors to properly maintain a safe playground atmosphere:
- Provide proper Supervision of children on playgrounds.
- Design Age-appropriate playgrounds.
- Provide proper Fall surfacing under and around playgrounds.
- Properly maintain playground Equipment.
Playground Head to Toe Safety
Children should not wear bike helmets when playing on equipment.
Parents should check for hot surfaces on playground equipment before allowing children to play on it. Slides with metal surfacing (though not recommended by the CPSC) are still in existence in many older playgrounds. If shade structures do not protect the slide from the sun, the surface can become extremely hot and can even cause burns on the skin.
Note: All playground equipment surfaces, especially dark colors, regardless of material type can become extremely hot in direct sunlight.
Strings can strangle children on playground equipment.
Clothing strings, loose clothing, and stringed items placed around the neck can catch on playground equipment and strangle children. Strings on sweatshirt hoods should be removed
Remove animal swings from playgrounds.
In 1995, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
recalled these heavy molded plastic animal swings.
Ropes should be secured at both ends.
There should be no loose ropes on playground equipment. Loose ropes have cause strangulation and severe injuries.
Temperature affects whether children should be playing outside.
Weather that poses a significant health risk should include wind chill factor at or below minus 15˚F and heath index at or above 90˚F, as identified by the National Weather Service.
Source: Health promotion and protection: Standard 188.8.131.52: Playing outdoors. (2011). In Caring for our children: National health and safety performance standards; Guidelines for early care and education programs (3rd ed.). Retrieved fromhttp://nrckids.org/CFOC3/HTMLVersion/Chapter03.html
You can obtain additional information regarding this topic by logging onto National Program for Playground Safety.