Every year over 28,000 children are hurt on playgrounds, and though quite a few of these injuries are likely caused because of children being children, the vast majority of these injuries are actually caused because of playgrounds that are not being properly maintained.
The number of injuries that children have been sustaining because of playgrounds has increased dramatically over the past couple of years take Manitoba for example; in 2007 they had 48 serious hospitalizations because of accidents that occurred on playgrounds, but by 2011 it had almost doubled to 77 hospitalizations.
Now we are not saying that you shouldn’t let your children out to play! But you should be aware of what to look out for to ensure that an improperly maintained playground won’t harm your child.
So what can you look out for?
- Make sure that none of the playground equipment is broken i.e. pieces of the slide are missing which can easily cause a child to accidentally hurt themselves on when they are playing.
- Ensure there are no rust spots on the playground; this could be a sign of a weakened playground structure that could cause tripping hazards or unexpected pieces to fall off.
- Make sure the playground surface is properly maintained to properly cushion a child if they fell on it. Improperly maintained playground surfaces are one of the number one reasons as to why children are injured on playgrounds. Ensure the playground that your child frequents has regular maintenance.
- Ensure that the playground has regular inspections and maintenance this will ensure that any weak points in the playground structure are found and fixed before they become an issue as well as ensuring that the playground surface is properly maintained.
Below are some images of what you should look out for and keep your children away from if you notice them in a playground, and under that is what a properly maintained playground should look like.
Images of what you can Lookout for in an Unsafe Playground
Images of Safe Playgrounds and what you should expect to see in a Playground
You may not be able to protect your child from being hurt; that is just a part of growing up, but you can help to prevent them from unnecessarily being injured when they are playing at what should be considered a safe place.
Do you have an unsafe playground in your local area?
Do you want to share any stories or tips you may have about playgrounds?
Comment below and add your voice to the discussion.