Outdoor play equipment and playgrounds provide kids with great opportunities for fun and exercise, but they also pose a few safety hazards. Improper playground surfaces, faulty recreational equipment and dangerous behavior can all put playful children on a fast track to the emergency room.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently released an update to its Handbook for Public Playground Safety. Additionally, the agency has offered the following safety tips to avoid playground hazards and injuries, and to help make National Playground Safety Week the official kick-off of a safe and fun summer season:
- “Always supervise children on play equipment to make sure they are safe.
- Purchase playground equipment that meets the latest safety standards.
- Maintain at least 9 inches of protective surfacing, including shredded/recycled rubber, wood chips, wood mulch (non-CCA treated), sand or pea gravel under and around playground equipment to cushion children from falls.
- Check that protective surfacing extends at least 6 feet in all directions from play equipment. For swings, extend protective surfacing in front and back of the swing, twice the height of the suspending bar.
- Repair sharp points or edges on equipment. Replace missing hardware and close ‘S’ hooks that can cause injuries.
- Never attach ropes, jump ropes, clotheslines, pet leashes or cords of any kind to play equipment due to the strangulation hazard.”Previously on the DC Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog, we have posted articles related to:
- Playground safety tips for kids
- Rising rates of gymnastics injuries among young children in the U.S.
- Safety assessment tips for evaluating new apartment complexes or condominiums
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