Heather Olsen: Hi! Im Heather Olsen and Im a part of the team at the National Program for Playground Safety.
Today I am discussing the basics of equipment maintenances. In many communities the public playground has become the field of dreams. A place where children can run, play and fantasize, but once that special place for children is built, the community needs to remember that its outdoor play areas need to be maintained. Your first glance at the playground is very important; you need to ask yourself if the playground looks safe and maintained.
Some questions to consider when looking at the playground are the fences, hedges or open space, prevent running into traffic or parking areas. Are there any broken pieces of equipment, such as broken swing sets or seesaws?
Does the playground have adequate cushioned surfacing? Is there trash, such as broken bottles or can tops lying around that can cause injury? If you can fix the problem, such as up trash, go ahead, but if the problem requires maintenance person, be sure to contact the owner of the playground, such as the park department, community, organization or school district, before any child plays on the playground.
Also you need to observe the play equipment itself. Wood equipment should be free of splinters, large cracks and deterioration. Metal equipment should not be rusted and should be well shaded. Plastic equipment should not have any cracks or splinters.
Cracks, deterioration and rust could cause an injury; also make sure that ropes are secured at both ends. Loose ropes can cause strangulation and severe injuries. We moved animal swings from the playground.
S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in 1995 recalled these heavy plastic animal swings. Check for missing parts, like handrails, guard rails or steps, this will prevent tripping or children getting their head stuck between handrails.
Make sure that all protective caps and coverings are present to prevent cuts and scrapes, and all part should be completely fixed with no broken items such as swings and slide shoots.
Make sure S hooks on swings, cable walks, and other equipment are closed to prevent strangulation. After conducting a visual inspection on the outdoor play area for safety, children are free to play. So have fun and stay safe!