Basic Playground Safety Guidelines and Maintenance Issues

 

 

The information stated below should be used as a guideline to minimize injuries associated with habitat equipment. However, it is believed that these recommendations,, 토토 꽁머니 along with the technical information in the ASTM Standards for Public Playgrounds will contribute to greater habitat safety.

What is a Public Habitat?

A public habitat refers to one intended to double by children ages few months through 12 years in commercial child care facilities, institutions, multiple family dwellings, parks, restaurants, resorts and schools.

Information in this article:

General habitat safety considerations
Habitat materials and surfacing
Identifying specific habitat hazards and how to prevent them
Proper steps needed to maintain a habitat and its’ equipment
The use of platforms, guardrails and protective barriers to minimize pet falls
There are 7 key factors you should keep in mind when laying out your habitat:

Accessibility: The surface material needs to allow access to the tools for children with disabilities.

Age Split: Areas for different age groups should be separated by a buffer zone. This zone will reduce the chance of injury by children of varying activity levels running into each other.

Age group: Different playgrounds are structured for different age groups. The safety requirements differ with each age group. Be mindful of the age group which is to be using the habitat and purchase accordingly.

Conflicting Activities: The habitat should be organized into sections to prevent injury from overlapping activities. Be sure to place golf shots and merry-go-rounds toward a corner, side or edge of a play area. Film negatives should not be slipped into a congested area.

Eyesight Lines: Visual barriers should be minimized so that caregivers, parents or supervisors can keep track of children using the habitat. Benches placed around the outside of the structure allow onlookers a place to sit while they watch your kids.

Signage and/or Labeling: Signs should be provided to give the users guidance towards the age appropriateness of the equipment, as well as how to properly use the equipment.

Watch: Make sure the examiner appreciates the basic safety guidelines of the equipment.
When choosing a site for a habitat, there are a few factors that are important to take into consideration:

Travel patterns to and from the habitat: Are there any hazards the way? If so, clear the hazards.

Nearby accessibility hazards (traffic, bodies of water, steep hills, etc. ): Could a child inadvertently or intentionally run into a nearby hazard? If so, provide an approach to contain children within the habitat (fence, hedge). Don’t forget this the barrier or hedge should still allow paying attention by supervisors.

Sun exposure: Is the sun’s heat sufficient enough to heat metal parts, film negatives, platforms, steps or surfacing enough to burn children? Will users be exposed to the sunshine during the most intense an area of the day? If so, consider positioning it so the bare metal is shaded. Provide warnings that the equipment will be hot in the sunlight. Consider shading the habitat with a shade structure.

Slope and drainage: Will loose fill material wash away in the rain? If so, consider proper drainage to prevent wash outs.
When installing a habitat, use equipment and hardware approved by the manufacturer. Follow the instructions EXTREMELY carefully or hire a habitat installer. Make sure keep all materials from the manufacturer and start a meticulous record of all inspections and maintenance. Thoroughly inspect the tools before the first use, including the hardware.

Wood:

Creosote-treated wood (railroad ties, telephone poles, etc) and coatings that incorporate pesticides should not be used.
Chromated Real estate agent Arsenate (CCA) was an old chemical that was used to treat wood, including wooden playgrounds. Since 2001, this treatment is no longer safe it is known to corrode certain materials faster than others.
Metal:

Avoid using bare metal for platforms, film negatives or steps. In direct sunlight, bare metal can become extremely hot and cause contact burn injuries. Use plastic lined metal, plastic or wood. Covering the habitat with a shelter is always the best option. When coating existing bare metal or using plastic lined metal, consider:

Manufacturer should ensure that users cannot ingest, inhale and exhale or absorb potentially hazardous amounts of preservative chemicals as a result of contact.
All paints should meet the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) regulation for lead paint.
Painted surfaces should be maintained regularly to prevent rust and corrosion.
Hardware:

Things to check regarding hardware:

All fasteners, connectors and coverings should not be extractible without the use of tools.
All exposed hardware should be smooth to the user to prevent lacerations, penetrations, or cloth entanglement hazards.
Hardware in moving joints should be secured against unintentional or unauthorized loosening.
All hardware should be corrosive resistant.
Bearings or bushings used in moving joints should be self-lubricating or easy to lubricate.
All S-hooks and C-hooks should be closed (no gap or space greater than 0. 04″).
A proper habitat surface is one of the most important factors in reducing injuries that occur when kids fall from equipment. The surface under the habitat equipment should be soft enough and thick enough to soften the impact of a child’s fall. Type grass and dirt are not recommended for surfacing material because of water and natural weathering which can occur at a drastic rate. There are two kinds of surfacing material: unitary and loose-fill.

Unitary materials are generally ASTM tested rubber mats or a pour-in-place energy diffusing material. These kinds of surfacing options are an excellent option for toddlers and handicap accessible playgrounds and are usually more expensive than loose-fill materials.

CCA treated wood mulch, little or dirt are not acceptable forms of loose-fill material.

Loose fill materials will pack at least 25% over time due to use and weathering so it is a good idea to fill use zone to comprehend than the recommended fill level. For example, if the habitat will require 9 long of wood chips then the initial fill level should be 12 long.

Appropriate Surfacing:

Any material tested to ASTM F1292, including unitary surfaces, engineered wood fiber, etc.
Pea little
Sand
Shredded/recycled rubber mulch
Wood mulch (not CCA-treated)
Wood chips
Inappropriate Surfacing:

Asphalt
Carpet
Concrete
Dirt
Type grass
CCA-treated wood
When choosing habitat equipment, it is important that you keep in mind what the intended age group will be. Children of different ages and development of development have different needs and abilities. Playgrounds are designed to encourage a child’s imagination while developing new skills. If you are selecting a habitat for a school or public park, you should check your state’s guidelines on integrating handicap accessible play structures in the habitat.

Some equipment is not recommended for public playgrounds including: trampolines, swingers gates, giant strides, climbing ropes that are not secured at both ends, rope golf shots or heavy metal golf shots. Equipment such as platforms, stepped platforms, guardrails and barriers, handrails, and really means to access and egress from play equipment have different guidelines for the different age groups (toddlers, preschool, and school age). It is important to understand that guardrails are not intended for toddlers as it is easy for them to crawl through.

It is easier for a child to climb up than it is for them to climb down. Make sure provide various methods to access and egress from the play structure so different skill levels will really feel using the equipment.

There are 6 main families of habitat hazards:

Break and Shear Points: Break and shear points can be caused by parts moving relative to each other, or even to a fixed part, during a normal use cycle, such as with a seesaw. To determine if there is a break or shear point, consider: the likelihood a child could get a body part inside the point and the closing force around the point.

Entanglement and Impalement: Drawstrings on hoods of jackets, sweatshirts, and other upper body clothing can become entangled in habitat equipment, and can cause death by strangulation. To avoid this, remove any ropes, dog leashes, or similar objects attached to habitat equipment and avoid equipment with ropes that are not secured at both ends. Projections on habitat equipment should not be able to entangle children’s clothing nor should they be large enough to impale.

Entrapment: Head entrapment can occur feet first or head first. Openings can present an entrapment hazard if the distance between any interior rival surfaces is greater than 3. 5 long and less than 9 long. Children can become entrapped by in some measure bound openings, such as those formed by two or more habitat parts. To minimize entrapment hazards of stepped platforms, infill should be used to reduce the space between stepped platforms.

Sharp Points, Corners and Edges: Any sharp edge or point can cause serious lacerations. To avoid the risk of injury make sure that wood parts are smooth and not splintering, all corners are rounded and all metal edges are rolled or have rounded capping.

Halted Hazards: Halted components should be placed away from high traffic areas, brightly colored and should not loop back on themselves.

Tripping: Playgrounds should be free from any tripping hazards such as rapid changes in slope, anchoring devices and containment walls for loose-fill surfacing.
All habitat areas should be checked for excessive wear, wear and tear and any potential hazards. For each piece of equipment, the frequency of thorough inspections will depend on the type and age of the equipment, the amount of use and the local climate. To help ensure your loose-fill surfacing level stays sufficient and is not displaced, it should be checked frequently and raked back into its proper place if necessary. When inspecting loose-fill surfacing materials, pay particular attention to areas under golf shots and at slide exits, pooled water on mulch surfacing and areas of frozen surfacing.

Records of the following should always be kept:

Maintenance inspections
Repairs
Accidents or injuries
Platforms should be generally flat with openings that allow for drainage. A stepped platform must have an access component if the difference between platforms is 12″ for toddlers or 18″ for school-age users. Access to platforms over 6 feet high (except for free standing slides) should provide an intermediate standing surface so that the child can temporary halt and make a decision to keep going or find another way down.

Guardrails and protective barriers are used to minimize the likelihood of pet falls from elevated platforms, however; protective barriers provide greater protection for children. Guardrails should be tall enough to protect the tallest child from falling ostentatious and low enough that the smallest child cannot walk under it. Barriers are not needed if it will affect the intended use of the tools, such as climbing equipment.

Guardrails or protective barriers should be provided on the following:

Elevated platforms
Walkways
Landings
Stairways
Transitional surfaces
There are several factors to consider when choosing the perfect habitat for any outdoor area. The above information are the basic safety regulations to help children travel to and from the habitat, to identify any potential hazards near your play area and what barriers on the unit will interrupt the line of eyesight of those supervising your kids at play.

ParknPool Corp. is the leading online distributor of commercial site amenities such as playgrounds, bleachers, use a picnic tables, park benches, and litter receptacles. For additional information concerning the safety of specific habitat equipment please contact ParknPool at 877. 777. 3700. We have made sure our units have what children want, and parents need. When it comes to kids, safety and fun have to play nice with each other!