Kids go to the playground to have fun, and safety is the most vital component of any playground. While not all injuries can be avoided, regular equipment maintenance can do a lot of good in reducing the chances of someone getting hurt. Outdated equipment and unaddressed damages can lead to serious issues for those using the playground. Don’t let your playground be an afterthought. The best defense against an accident is catching issues as soon as they become apparent.
Walk the Grounds
A maintenance technician should walk the grounds regularly to evaluate the premises. Anything dangerous or unsanitary, such as broken glass, may otherwise go unnoticed. There should be a regular trash removal system in place. Additionally, keep an eye out for vandalism. Inappropriate content sprayed on walls or equipment needs to be kept out of sight of children until it can be painted over. Some of the other things to remove in order to ensure total safety include:
• Large fallen branches
• Aboveground tree roots
• Standing water
• Protrusion hazards such as bolts and hooks
• Any other tripping or slipping hazards
Inspect the Structures
Items are going to experience wear and tear over time, so annual inspections can do a lot of good for ensuring those items are maintaining their aesthetic. Your playground structures are constantly exposed to the elements, so older equipment has inevitably worn over time. If the playground is located in an area that is prone to constant rainfall, then you may run into problems sooner.
Have you considered a shade structure? This is a great way to prevent the effects of the sun and rain on your playground. A shade structure will also make your playground more appealing on the hottest of summer days.
Addressing the Wear and Tear
Don’t leave an aging playground to chance. Outdated equipment is a serious safety hazard. While you should evaluate all equipment routinely, you also need to invest in items that are designed to be safer. Be mindful of the materials the structures are made out of.
Wood objects are going to require a different type of maintenance than plastic structures. Check wooden equipment for splits and splinters, and replace wooden swing seats with softer plastic ones.
Install guard railings along all raised surfaces. According to the National Safety Council, 80% of playground injuries are caused by falls.
American Park and Recreation has specialized in playground equipment for over 20 years. Whether you’re beginning a new project, or ready to updated your existing playground, APARK can help. Give our team a call at 813-438-7707.