Buying new school playground equipment is a great investment to promote active lifestyles and fun for kids at school.
If done correctly, having play equipment in a school is also a great social resource for children. Which means you need to get it *just right*.
But there are some safety considerations to consider when choosing the right playground equipment for you and your school.
Looking to get playground equipment installed? Here are nine safety tips to follow.
Choosing the right ground surface
We all know kids like to run wild during their break times, so it’s important you choose an appropriate surface for them to play on.
You need to choose an impact absorbing material for underneath any play equipment, such as mulch and shredded rubber, sand, or synthetic turf.
It’s all about limiting the amount of risks, so choosing a good surface can reduce injuries and create a solid ground for the equipment.
Choose the right equipment for the right ages
Before you choose your equipment, you need to have an understanding of who you’re buying it for.
Will you be mixing year groups on the play equipment?
What’s the age difference?
Will equipment made for older kids be suitable for the younger kids and vice versa?
Purchasing play equipment is a big investment, so you want it to be worth it.
If you don’t want to install multiple units, aim to buy something that is suitable for all age groups.
Make sure you inspect the equipment regularly
When you buy any kind of play equipment, you need to make sure you check it regularly.
Although our equipment is of high quality, heavy use can lead to faults and possible breakages, leading to injuries.
The more you inspect your equipment, the more confident you can be that it won’t cause any injuries for those using it.
Check the surrounding area regularly
Not only do you need to check the equipment, you also need to make sure the surrounding area is clear of any rubbish, debris or holes in the ground’s surface.
Again, this could cause children to trip, fall or hurt themselves on things that can be prevented.
Make sure the equipment is being maintained properly on a regular basis
Any form of equipment you buy (especially for children) needs to be properly maintained.
If no one in the building feels qualified to do so, consider bringing in a professional to check all equipment and surrounding areas on a regular basis.
This could also help the equipment last longer.
Look where the risks might be and what kind of risks there are
Identifying risks when installing play equipment is an important task. Although it can be time consuming, it is worth it.
Possible risks include:
- Putting equipment too close together
- Uneven surface
- Poor quality equipment
Finding possible faults can prevent future risks.
Supervision is key
Safe use will mostly come down to supervision.
If someone is on hand to ensure everyone is using the equipment properly and safely, dangers and risks can be monitored.
Provide staff training
It’s a good idea to arrange training for any staff that will be monitoring the equipment.
A health and safety course doesn’t take up much time and will be useful for someone monitoring the safety of children.
Where is the equipment?
The location of play equipment is often overlooked, but it’s actually a really important safety feature.
You need to make sure it’s easy to access. If it’s difficult to get to, a child could hurt themselves just getting to the play area. Place the equipment in an open space with room to run around and access all entrances and exits easily.
Anyone completing maintenance checks also needs to be able to get to it, so make sure it’s not just accessible to children but also any adults.
Make sure it doesn’t block anything else, such as entrances and exits, other equipment and fire exits. You don’t want something that’s meant to be fun to go against health and safety regulations.
Is it sheltered?
It could be a good idea to provide a sheltered area for some parts of the equipment so it doesn’t get ruined by the weather. If the play equipment gets wet or icy, it can become slippy, causing anyone using it to fall and hurt themselves.
Is it an area that’s hard to maintain?
If you choose to put the play equipment in an area that gets muddy for example, it will be harder to maintain.
Need help picking the right equipment?
If you’re still not sure what’s the best choice of equipment, get in touch with us at Setterplay. We’ve got a huge selection of School Playground Equipment to choose from and have been helping customers bring fun to break times for years.