Playgrounds are places of adventure, joy and imagination, where children create memories to carry with them for the rest of their lives. Above all, we need to ensure these are happy memories, rather than a recollection of various bumps and scrapes earned by using unsafe equipment or doing something silly.
Checking for hazards
When you arrive at a playground, whether for the first or fiftieth time, take a moment to check your surroundings. Look for any dangerous or worn-out equipment, such as hinges (e.g. under a see-saw) where little fingers can get trapped. Check the park’s surface; rubber, sand and wood chips provide good cushioning for falls, and should extend more than a metre beyond each piece of equipment (further for swings). Also be on the lookout for any tall equipment without guard rails.
Remove any trip hazards, such as sticks, rocks and even holes children may have dug. Also make sure that any gaps between pieces of equipment are either big enough for your child to fit their whole body through, or small enough that they can’t enter at all. No one likes squeezing partway through a gap only to get their head stuck.
Help your child play safely
If you do spot any potential dangers, explain them to your child so they know what to avoid. Also, make sure you remove any hazards your child may bring onto the playground with them. Skipping ropes, drawstrings and helmet straps can all snag on equipment, so either take them off or tuck them in.
Children love to push their limits, but often don’t know what those limits are. Watch your child as they play, and guide them toward age-appropriate equipment. As a general rule, include see-saws, firemen poles, arch climbers, chain-and-cable walks and log rolls are not suitable as toddler play equipment.
Hamilton playground shows how it’s done
The Lake Domain Playground in Hamilton is a great example of a fun and exciting playground that also meets playground safety standards. With a magical treehouse design, it includes a flying fox, wheelchair accessible carousel and the biggest water play area of its kind in New Zealand. Soft artificial grass pads the ground, and the wooden slats of the treehouse are spaced close enough together to keep curious explorers from getting stuck.
Consult the playground safety experts
With over a hundred years of playground building experience, we at Playground Centre make equipment that is exciting, innovative, safe to use and built to last. Our outdoor playground equipment includes fitness systems and electronic gaming, so your kids can have a great time outside whatever their interests. We take care of the serious side of fun for you, so you can just focus on making wonderful memories.