It is good to have a home playground if you have young children and some extra space on your property. Your children can have a place to play where you can supervise them while finishing other tasks. In addition, with a home playground, you become more confident that your children will be safe.
But in some instances, it is not the case because playground equipment-related injuries can still happen. So while you can minimize playground accidents—mainly falls—consider other options, too, to make your children’s playground a safer place.
Here are some of the things that you can do.
1. Provide protective surfacing
Falls cause most of the injuries sustained by children while on the playground. Thus, it is critical to have protective surfacing around and under the playground equipment to reduce serious head injuries.
The most effective protective surfacing is engineered wood fibre (EWF). EWF is an organic product produced from the inside of trees specifically selected for the purpose. It is easy to spread and does not cost much. However, you should distribute it at the right thickness so it can cushion the impact of a fall better.
Another option is rubber surfacing, which partially uses recycled rubber tires, making it environmentally friendly. In addition, it provides excellent impact absorption properties. It is also durable and resistant to microbial growth. Plus, it requires minimal maintenance.
2. Make the equipment non-slippery
Playground equipment should have smooth surfaces to prevent children from being injured by rough spots, mainly welded joints. However, the smooth texture can cause children to lose their grip. One option is to follow Durabak’s DIY solution to paint the metal and wood surfaces, stairs, handlebars, footholds, and other exposed areas with a polyurethane coating to ensure that the surfaces will not be slippery.
3. Designate a use zone
Children are active, and they typically enjoy playing around the garden and using the home playground equipment. You can manage them better by designating a use zone area where they can play safely. Cover the entire area with protective surfacing material so the children know where they can play. For example, if you have a slide, extend the use zone to about 1.8 meters in front. For stationary climbing equipment, expand the use zone to 1.8 meters all around the equipment.
4. Keep a safe distance between swings
Ensure that you install swings at least 0.20 meters (20.32 cm) apart for suspended swings and those with support frames. Follow the minimum clearance between the swing seat’s underside and the ground of about 0.20 meters (20.32 cm). Securely anchor swing sets with support frames to the ground.
5. Use guardrails
Install guardrails to prevent children from falling if your home playground equipment includes a platform that’s more than 76.2 cm above the ground. Ensure that the guardrail is not too large for the children to grip correctly. Likewise, improve their grip by painting the guardrail with a non-slip coating.
Ensure that you follow safety regulations and the manufacturer’s recommendations when installing home playground equipment. Moreover, inspect the equipment regularly and fix or repair defects. Further, ensure that the protective surfacing is in good condition.
- About the Author
Alex Grigoryan is a Professional Home Improvement and Lifestyle Writer. He has been in the industry for over 6 years and has been writing for Chique Home Living since 2019. His work has been featured in prestigious blogs such as Spruce Home, Better Homes & Garden, and more.