Kids (and adults) who have been cooped up in the house all winter will be eager to get outside and hit the playground once warm weather returns. But for all the fun they offer, playgrounds can be dangerous places if children and their parents are careless.
- The right surface. Stay away from playgrounds built on concrete or asphalt or other hard surfaces that can easily cause injury in a fall. Look for energy-absorbing substances like shredded rubber or wood chips that can cushion an impact better.
- Separate play areas. Equipment should be designed for specific age groups: infants and toddlers (under 2); preschool children (2-5 years); and school-age children (5-12). These areas should be spaced to allow adequate room for each individual group. Make sure kids are using the equipment that’s designed for them.
- Space for safety. Stationary play equipment like jungle gyms and seesaws should have at least 6 feet of clearance and soft surface in every direction. For swing sets, the surfacing should extend twice the height of the top bar (a 7-foot swing set should have a clearance of 14 feet, for example).
- Supervision. You should be able to see and watch your children from anywhere on the playground. Don’t leave children unsupervised, even for just a few minutes.
- Clothing. Have your children remove any necklaces or hoods with drawstrings before playing on any equipment. If they get caught anywhere (at the top of a slide, for instance), they could cause an injury.
- Maintenance issues. Report any problems you see—broken equipment, unsafe conditions, etc.—to whoever’s in charge of maintaining the playground.
Have a playground on your property? Contact us today to see how your Pennsylvania homeowners insurance will respond if someone gets injured.