He squeals and shouts of our rambunctious, healthy kids enjoying their outdoor fun in the yard are reassuring and comforting for parents to hear – as long as those shouts don’t become screams of pain or an accident. The backyard is supposed to be a fun place for outdoor play and exercise, not a danger zone. Young children need the physical benefits of exercise, motor skills development, and fresh air, not to mention a place to work off their boundless energy.
Unfortunately, each year families of about 200,000 children confront injuries associated with unsafe playground areas and equipment, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. An estimated 51,000 involve home 꽁머니 equipment, the rest occur at public playgrounds. Most of the injuries are the result of falls. Tragically, about 15 children die each year, most because of strangulation.
You Can Keep Your Kids Safe
Fortunately, these tragedies are preventable. Combined with careful adult supervision, proper playground construction and maintenance can greatly minimize the risk of injury to young children.
Practice Playground Safety at Home, at School, and at the Park
This quick-course has been written to help alert you to the danger signs in play areas. You can take control at home by taking precautions with your own play area. And you can take a new look at other playgrounds for the same hazards. These include lack of proper surfacing to cushion falls, lack of guardrails to prevent falls, head entrapment hazards, and other injury-causing hazards.
Cushion Falls with Protective Surfacing
Since almost 60% of all injuries are caused by falls to the ground, protective surfacing under and around all playground equipment is critical to reduce the risk of serious head injury. And because head impact injuries from a fall can be life threatening, the more shock absorbing a surface can be made, the less likely any injury will be severe. Of course, all injuries due to falls cannot be prevented no matter what playground surfacing material is used.
How Much Should You Use?
If using loose-fill material at home, maintain a constant depth of at least 6 inches of material. 9 or 12 inches is recommended. The cushioning benefits of fine sand and gravel increase at 12 inches, according to the CPSC.
What’s the Buffer Zone?
Create a buffer zone, covered with a protective surfacing material, under and around all equipment where a child might fall. The protective surfacing material should extend a minimum of 6 feet in all directions from the perimeter of the equipment. To prevent further injury from a fall, this area must be free of other equipment and obstacles that might strike a child.
Loose-Fill (sand, fine gravel, mulch, wood chips, etc.) material requires a method of containment such as a retaining barrier or excavated pit. It also requires good drainage underneath the material, periodic