If you are thinking of revamping your outdoor area to install play equipment for children there are a few things you should consider to ensure the safety of young ones, and those young at heart!
Here are some of the things you should consider:
1. Check the play area – Ensure the area where you intend to install the play equipment is clear and free of any hazardous items like loose rocks, nails or other debris that may cause accident or injury.
You should also check the position of the play area from various viewpoints both inside and outside your home to ensure that you have a clear viewpoint of where children will be playing at all times.
This grassy backyard is the perfect area for a childrens play area and offers entertainment for the kids while the adults enjoy some downtime in the outdoor living area.
2. Choose child-safe materials – Children are notoriously experimental when it comes to the world around them. If it doesn’t first go in their mouth they are soon making all sorts of weird and wonderful things with the bits and pieces they find on the ground and around their play areas. This can lead to serious health issues if the materials they find contain potentially lethal substances such as lead. Always check the labels on products and materials you are selecting just to be sure.
3. Look for quality play sets and check it twice – While children’s play equipment is constructed with safety in mind as a parent you always want to step it up a notch and set your own safety standards.
Check play areas for sharp edges and if they can’t be removed cover the area with thick rubber to make it safe for children to use. Heavy duty rubber mats are also ideal underneath play equipment to reduce the impact of falls and at the bottom of slides to minimise the risk of injury.
4. Install safety railings – We insist that workmen use scaffolding and safety rails, so why don’t we insist on it for our children who are much more exposed and unaware of the dangers around them. Play equipment that includes slides are an accident waiting to happen with smaller children climbing to reach the top and pushing each other to get there first. Safety railings give you added peace of mind and give your children extra protection from falling down.
5. Maintenance is paramount – Check play equipment weekly for breaks, weak spots and potential hazards. Loose areas should be fixed immediately before children plan in the area. Dangling ropes should always be carefully checked to ensure they are firmly attached and secure, for added safety remove ropes from access when children have finished playing.
Play areas are an ideal way to keep little ones entertained while you enjoy a BBQ on the patio or an afternoon with a few friends sitting under your verandah. Ensuring play areas are safe makes the backyard a fun place for the whole family.
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