Playground Injuries: What to Look For to Prevent Them
Outdoor play is a must for children. They need to play, not only to develop properly but also to keep a good physical condition and overall health.
Playgrounds are the ultimate tool for outdoor play and activities, but that does not mean that there are no risk factors associated with playground equipment like monkey bars or swing sets. Unfortunately, injuries among children are far too common.
Only in the United States, more than 200.000 children attend the emergency room or are treated in the hospital with playground injuries.
If you find yourself in a situation where one of your children suffers an accident in the playground area, here is a simple step-by-step guide from de CDC that can come in handy —we really hope you never need it—
But why is that? A children’s playground should be a happy place, with laughs and shouts of joy, not pain. A great deal of those injuries occurs while playing on public playgrounds. This is probably related to the fact that most public parks or playgrounds do not have any kind of protective surface.
For some mysterious reason, there is this false belief that grass will be good enough to absorb the impact of children in the ground. However, if you have ever seen a Football or Soccer game, you KNOW that landing on grass is no walk in the Champs-Élysées.
What can we do to prevent playground injuries? Let us learn how to safeguard our children from disasters.
It all starts with prevention. Use protective surfaces.
As we established before: there are some risk factors associated with playground equipment. We can attenuate those risks by installing some kind of impact attenuation material in the play equipment area.
These materials will help prevent a head injury or some other nasty things that can occur while playing.
It is very common for parents to worry about protective surfaces AFTER installing the playground. However, this is a mistake. The second you buy the playground (if it is one from Spimbey, the better), you should be looking for options in the protective surfaces area.
That way, once the playset arrives at your home, you will be ready, and your children will be able to use the structure just moments after the installation. Playground safety is no joke but something to take very seriously.
You can find basically two different types of protectives surfaces:
- Loose-fill materials: like wooden or rubber mulch.
- Unitary materials: like rubber tiles (similar to what you find in gyms all over the world).
The final decision, of course, will be up to you and your possibilities. You can read further about playground floor material in one of our blog entries here.
Have a maintenance plan ready to go
Another critical step to injury prevention is performing regular maintenance to your playground structure.
Depending on the material, some playgrounds will require more constant care. For example:
If the playground is made out of metal, you should always be checking for rust and mold in every part of the structure. Rust will compromise the safety and stability of the playground while mold can provoke slips and falls that will likely end with an injury of some kind.
However, if the main material is wood, you need to be mindful of possible cracks in the wood. Mold is also a risk factor, but the cracks can really compromise the stability and durability of the playset, and that is a hard no.
At Spimbey, we come to a solution for that problem. We use cypress wood, which is naturally resistant to weather conditions. We also add anti-mold agents to the wood.
We won’t talk about plastic playgrounds because, you know, who would buy such a thing, right?
The bottom line is that you should do proper maintenance to the playground structure every 3 to 6 months. That will expand the lifespan of the frame while avoiding your child being treated in a hospital emergency.
Make sure your children are up to the challenge.
What we try to say with this is that: playgrounds and play equipment overall are usually divided by age group.
There is a reason for that. Children need to achieve certain developmental milestones before thinking about playing on a playground.
Make sure the equipment fits the age group of your children and that can prevent a trip to the hospital on a Sunday afternoon.
We take safety very seriously. Our intention is not to alarm you but to inform you about the best practices and that way prevent your children from suffering any kind of injury.
If you are looking for playground equipment that keeps everything looking sexy while providing durability and safety, you have come to the right place.
Take a tour of our shop today and find out about all the different options we offer for modular outdoor playsets!
Spimbey is where a Playground is a game away from a Castle.