We all know that injuries at a playground are almost impossible to eliminate, but by following some safety tips for your daycares playground, you can limit the injuries without taking away all of the childs fun. There is one word that you and your daycare can follow that will help prevent these injuries, SAFE:
S – Supervision. Supervising the children is very important, make sure that the playground is created so you can see all children at all times, rules for your playground should be posted. It is possible that the children in your daycare are not the only ones that play there, so it is important to look for broken glass, litter, and other sharp objects before the children go play. Another major safety tip that most people forget is in the summer to check to make sure the metal equiptment is not hot.
A – Age Appriate Equipment & Design. If your daycare concerns for children ages 2-5, then you MUST have gaurdrails or other prevention barriers for platforms higher than 20 inches. For this age consider having activity panels, swings, small slides, or other age appropriate objects. For children ages 5-12, they are more advanced so consider tire swings, chain ladders, sliding poles, etc.
F – Fall to Safe Surfaces. It is necessary to have at least a 6 foot fall zone around all equiptment unless your daycare has swings then you need at least double that. Do not use materials such as blacktop, grass, asphalt, packed dirt, or rocks under playground equiptment by any means.
E – Equipment Maintenance. Check to make sure your playground equipment is properly maintained, free of broken parts, anchored to the ground correctly, has NO noticeable gaps, has no sharp points or edges, is free of pertruding hardware, and does not have cracks, holes or splinters.