Education A to Z: P for Playground Safety

Continuing on with my Education A to Z blog series, I am up to the letter P. Playground safety may seem to be a pretty strange education topic, but there are a lot of teachers out there concerned with safety on the playground, and for good reason.

Did you know that each year about 200 thousand children are treated in emergency rooms across the country for injuries they received while playing on a playground? Yes, you read that correctly, 200 thousand children a year!

School playgrounds should set a standard for safety when it comes to playground safety and each school should follow the guidelines for what is considered appropriate and safe for playgrounds.

Playground equipment needs certain types of surfaces under them. Concrete is not appropriate. If your child’s school has concrete as the surface under the equipment, you need to point this out to the school and explain that you are aware that this isn’t considered safe. The protective surface under playground equipment should either be double shredded bark mulch, wood chips, fine mulch or fine gravel. Each type of surface also has specific requirements for how deep each should be.

If your school has platforms on playground equipment and it is more than 30 inches above the groundthe platform needs to have guardrails on it. Does your child’s school have platforms this high off the ground without guardrails? If so, draw it to the district’s attention.

There are also specific requirements for any openings on the playground equipment. Essentially, the openings should never be large enough for a child to put his head or body, which could then become stuck and cause strangulation. Make sure your child’s playground equipment doesn’t have openings that are made for the child’s entire body to go through, or if not made for that purpose, that nothing on the child, such as his head, can fit in and cause a potential disaster.

These are just several of the playground safety rules public playgrounds must follow. Check out more here!

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