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An Expert's Guide to Choosing the Safest Playground Equipment

By Whirl Construction (505 words)
Posted in Commercial Playgrounds on July 21, 2016

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Choosing the safest playground equipment for your commercial area is key to ensuring children’s safety and removing yourself from the possibility of litigation. You want your playgrounds to be interesting enough to capture a child’s attention, and yet safe enough to ensure parents are happy to take them there. This is a short expert guide to choosing safe equipment in your area from quality suppliers.

Choose your playground equipment according to age

Do you know what age the children are that are going to play on your playground? What if there happen to be younger children around that want to play too? Can you cater to them? If you choose equipment that is too difficult for your age group, this will be the type of decision that will lead to injuries. By choosing equipment relative to your age group, you stay safe. By adding extra elements that younger kids can play on, you don’t discount if parents want to bring a range of ages to your equipment.

Know the local laws

Playground laws are in place for a reason – to keep kids safe! Knowing the local laws for building a commercial playground will go a long way to ensuring you have a safe playground set up. Purchasing playground equipment that is not compliant with local laws may see you at risk of litigation.

Check supplier compliance

Is the playground company that you’re looking at purchasing a member of the relevant local professional organizations? These may include the International Playground Contractors Association, the New Jersey Recreation and Parks Association, and they may have staff on the team that are Certified Playground Safety Inspectors.

Equipment materials

What will your playground equipment be made out of? Traditionally, playgrounds were made purely of metals or wood. However, metals are hard if children knock themselves on them, and may corrode over time if not sealed and maintained. Woods can splinter and break if they are not painted and kept correctly. Plastics may be a better alternative for playground surfaces, as they are soft. Choose wisely, as some plastics have a greater life span than others.

Equipment life span

Speaking of life span, always check with the supplier what the intended life span of the product is, and how often it needs to be maintained. Failing to discover these key facts may lead to unsafe equipment and conditions. Cheaper playground equipment will usually come with a shorter life 
Once you’ve chosen your playground equipment, to make it as safe as possible, you will need to ensure that you have adequate barriers in place, safe materials underfoot in the case of any falls, conduct safety checks on a regular basis, and make sure that you have playground cleaners in place to clean up on a regular basis to remove debris.
Choosing a safe equipment setup from a qualified supplier, furnishing your surrounds with extra safety features, and regular site checks will make sure that you’ve got the safest commercial playground going around. This can help you rest easy in the knowledge that your users (the kids!) are in safe hands.

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International Playground Contractors Association New Jersey Recreation and Park Association Certified Playground Safety Inspectors Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute
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