Reading recent news about unsafe playgrounds in New Zealand makes us honestly worried. Our children should be our #1 priority and it is a timely reminder about our inspection standards. We cannot control what others do but we can control how we react.
We know we can’t stop vandalism, wear and tear or extreme weather conditions, but we can do more to ensure we are doing our bit to protect our kids.
In our opinion every playground should be checked at least weekly, if not more often. To help you we have put together a mini-checklist of all the important aspects of playground safety. You are welcome to print it out and use it on a regular basis to check your playgrounds.
The primary areas of concern to us is obviously around playground surfacing, but there are other areas that need regular attention:
- Is it at the right depth?
- Is it evenly spread?
- Are there any foreign object present that may cause injury?
- Is any synthetic material in good condition?
- Is there any obvious damage?
- Is all the playground framing to acceptable standard?
- Are all the attachments (such as chains, swings and slides) in good condition and shows no obvious wear?
- Is it easy and safe to enter the playground?
- Is there any drainage issues on playground or surrounding areas?
- Are all access paths easily and safely useable?
For those but also many other factors you should do regular risk assessments and put together a plan to mitigate those.