If you’re thinking about building a playground in your local community, one of the first things that you’ll want to focus on is to be thorough during the planning process. By doing so, you can ensure that everything is safe and fun for the children that’ll use it, while at the same time, you can also ensure that there aren’t any legal concerns about how the entire construction was built.
Because of the need to be thorough, you might be wondering about the things you need to be aware of before, during, and after it is built. Although each country and state has different policies, laws, and regulations, there are some common things that all people must focus on when building a playground, including the following:
1. First Things First – You Must Limit Falls
If you did some research, you probably know that falls are the number one cause of injuries that occur on playgrounds. After all, children can be restless at times and they cannot be monitored 24/7, which is why a lot of them choose to jump off high structures, they’ll run extremely fast, and they’ll most likely climb on the structures, even if they weren’t meant to be climbed on. This is why you must focus on limiting the impact of falls.
In order to avoid fall-related injuries and some potential legal issues, you should make sure that the playground isn’t built on a hard surface. After all, if you take a look at some playgrounds, you’ll see that they feature a mulch or rubber surface underneath the floors, both of which will lessen the impact of falls. Hence, before you start planning anything else, determine what material will be placed beneath the surface.
Another thing that you must ensure is that you avoid building any constructions near hard natural surfaces such as granite, mostly because it’ll pose a huge safety risk. Falls on such surfaces can cause some extreme injuries and in some instances, they were fatal as well. Hence, besides thinking about how you’ll lessen the impact of falls, also look at whether or not there are hard surfaces around the area that could be an issue.
2. Check The Safety Laws & Regulations
In the past, safety standards weren’t the same as they’re today, which means that kids used to play on rusted swings and potentially dangerous structures. However, today, most countries have specific laws and regulations that all people must follow when building a playground. Keep in mind, each country will have different regulations and laws, hence, what might be required in Australia might not be required in America. To help you understand the safety regulations better, you can learn more here.
3. Sharp Edges Are a Huge No-No
Another thing that you’ll want to ensure is that there aren’t any sharp edges and corners that can cut and seriously hurt children. What does this mean you should do? Well, it basically means that the corners need to be rounded, thus, they’ll be safer for the kids. By doing so, you won’t have to worry about the kids cutting or “stabbing” themselves on the edges and parents won’t have to worry about their kids getting seriously injured.
4. Plastic is Always Better Than Metal
In the past, most playgrounds were constructed from metal materials, however, this has changed in the last couple of years. Currently, most playgrounds feature more plastic materials than metal, which is why you should use them as well. Of course, it’ll be impossible not to use metal for swing sets, but instead of using wood and metal for the seats, you could opt for one manufactured from high-quality, durable plastic.
Additionally, metal slides aren’t popular nowadays, and although they can still be seen at some playgrounds, you should avoid placing them. Besides making sure that the children are safe from falls from a metal slide, you can also ensure that they don’t burn themselves, mostly because the metal slide will get extremely hot during summer once it has been sitting under the sun for hours every day, hence, plastic is always better.
5. Building Too High Isn’t an Option Without Safety Measures
Now, you should know, you can build a playground that features several levels – complete with ladders – however, if you want to do this, you’ll have to ensure that it’s completely safe, and more importantly, you’ll need to ensure that it’s foolproof. You have no idea how kids can find different ways to work around the barriers featured on different constructions, thus, they could end up falling and you could be held accountable.
All of this means that, no matter how you choose to build the structures, you’ll want to guarantee that you implement reliable and proper safeguards that’ll prevent children from getting around and accessing the exterior of the structure. One of the best things that you can choose to implement is durable and high-quality netting, as well as a structural design that would make getting around the barriers quite daunting for kids.
6. There is Nothing More Important Than Maintenance
Last on this list, but equally as important as everything else we’ve mentioned is the fact that you cannot neglect to maintain your playground. After all, by maintaining it often and properly, you’ll be able to make sure that it remains safe for kids, which will in return, help you lower the risks of someone getting seriously hurt while using the structures you’ve opted for building on the playground.
What does playground maintenance include? Well, for starters, you’ll have to check whether or not the rubber or mulch materials are still capable of cushioning falls. It’ll also require you to sanitize the area from time to time to prevent the spread of germs and you’ll also want to check and see whether there are any bees or other bugs that could be nesting in the area. Lastly, a stress test will be required on all structures to ensure that they’re safe for use.
Although most people think that building a playground is a simple and easy process, it isn’t, especially since there are a lot of things to consider during the planning process. And, if you choose to keep all the advice we’ve mentioned above in mind, you won’t only make everything easier for yourself, but you’ll ensure that the playground complies with all the rules and regulations of your country.
Since you’ve now learned what you’ll have to focus on when planning a playground, you really shouldn’t waste your time reading more articles. Instead, you should sit down and think about what you’ll do to make sure that your playground is safe and fun for children that’ll use it.