As the weather improves, more and more kids turn to outside activities in public and private playgrounds. This week is National Playground Safety week, a good time for parents to review the safety of the outdoor places where kids play. The National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS) offers a great Summer Safety Checklist for the top ten summer playground safety tips.
Some of the key issues are adult supervision and age appropriate equipment. See the NPPS guidelines for Age-Appropriate Design – NPPS recommends that adults be proactive in selecting age appropriate equipment and requesting separate play areas for different age groups – 6 months through 23 months, ages 2 to 5, and 5 to 12. These areas should be marked by signage indicating the age-appropriate areas. They offer guidance for each of these age groups.
Other considerations are appropriate fall surface materials, shelter from weather, and avoidance of any strings or ropes on equipment. They also say that kids should not wear bicycle helmets on playground equipment because they can be caught and may cause strangulation. It could be an easy mistake for a parent to think a helmet was offering an added layer of protection! See more NPPS tips at Playground Head to Toe Safety.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission offers a variety of safety resources on various topics related to playgrounds, as well as these guides: