Success at Recess: Playground Safety

May 6, 2014

playground-01With warm weather and sunny skies upon us, it is likely that students are beginning to spend more time playing outside before, during and after school. This means that your school’s playground is likely to be occupied by a number of students at once, which without proper supervision and updated equipment, could result in injuries. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 200,000 children end up in the emergency room each year due to injuries sustained on the playground. This often results from falling off the equipment, but could also be attributed to inadequate equipment.

Recess is a particular time of the day where a large number of students may find themselves on the playground at once. In order to prevent injuries and keep students safe, it’s important to make sure that your playground facility is up to date and meets current safety standards. To help you prepare, check out these tips on playground safety:

1. Make sure the surface under the playground equipment is soft and thick enough to lessen the impact of any falls. Instead of concrete, asphalt, or blacktop, use a surface made of wood chips, mulch, sand, pea gravel or shredded rubber. Your surface should be at least 12 inches deep and should also be clear of any rocks, water, or branches.

2. Rather than just have your surface underneath the equipment, any protective surfaces should continue at least 6 feet on all sides of the equipment. Depending on the height of certain structures, more padding may be necessary.

3. Structures that are more than 30 inches high should be spaced at least 9 feet apart from each other. Additionally, any sets that include equipment that moves, such as swings or seesaws, should be located in an area completely separate from the rest of the playground.

4. Check that there are no spaces within the structures that a child can get stuck in. Any opening should be less than 3 1/2 inches or wider than 9 inches to minimize the chances of any body part or clothing getting stuck.

5. Equipment should be inspected regularly in order to make sure everything is in working condition. Look out for any broken equipment, cracked equipment, and protruding materials such as nails or bolts that could potentially harm a child during play.

When it comes to playground safety, don’t forget to include proper adult supervision to keep an eye on students. Adults should be available at all times to watch that students do not climb too high, swing too high, or use the equipment incorrectly. Additionally, before play it is a good idea for supervisors to come up with and inform children about playground rules and safety to help prevent the chance of any injuries. For more tips on playground safety, click here.

Here at Nickerson Corporation, we understand the importance of keeping students safe throughout the school day. That’s why we work with leading manufacturers to supply playground equipment that is both durable and safe. It is our goal to assist schools in providing an experience for students that is enjoyable and fun while simultaneously meeting safety standards. Don’t wait until it’s too late, transform your playground into a safe environment today. Contact us at 631-666-0200 to learn more about how we can help.