Sunday, July 12, 2009

Building a Safe Home Playground

The squeals and shouts of our rambunctious, healthy kids enjoying their fun in the outer yard is reassuring and comforting for parents to hear - as the shouts not be screams of pain or an accident. The backyard will be a happy place for external play and exercise, not a danger zone. Children need the physical benefits of exercise, motor skills development, and the fresh air, not to mention a place to remove their boundless energy.

Unfortunately, each year the family about 200,000 children attend to injuries related to unsafe areas and playground equipment, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. An estimated 51,000 involve home playground equipment, the rest occur in public playgrounds. Most of the injuries were the result of falls. Tragically, about 15 children die each year, most due to strangulation.

You Can Keep Your Kids Safe

Fortunately, these are preventable tragedies. Combined with careful adult supervision, proper playground construction and maintenance can greatly reduce the risk of injury to children.

Practice at Home playground safety, school, and Park

The quick-course is written to help alert you to the danger signs in play areas. You can take control at home by taking precautions in your own play area. And you can take a new look and other playgrounds for both hazards. These include lack of proper cover to cushion falls, lack of guardrails to prevent falls, head entrapment hazards, and other injury-causing hazards.

Cushion Falls In Protective cover

Since almost 60% of all the injuries caused by falls to the earth, under the protective cover and around all the playground equipment is critical to reduce the risk of serious head injury. And for head impact injuries from a fall can be life threatening, the more shock absorbing a surface can be made, the less likelihood of any injury is severe.

Of course, all the damage due to falls can not be prevented no matter what playground surfacing material is used.

What Avoid

Do not use concrete or Asphalt. Falls on asphalt and concrete can result in serious injury and death's head. Do not place playground equipment on top.

Avoid Grass and dirt. Grass and turf also lose their ability to absorb shock through wear and environmental conditions. Avoid earth surfaces such as soils and hard packed dirt. Always use protective surfacing.

What Should You Use?

Especially-fill surfacing materials. These include double shredded bark mulch, shredded tires, wood chips, fine sand or fine gravel. The greater the depth, the greater the shock-absorption. Particularly in-fill materials should not be installed on hard surfaces such as asphalt or concrete.

Manufactured synthetic surface. These include rubber or rubber over foam Mats or tiles, poured-in-place urethane and rubber compositions. The first, but higher costs are less maintenance is required. Make sure to ask the manufacturers of test data for the shock absorption. Some materials require installation over a hard surface while others are not.

What Should You Use?

When using loose-fill material at home, maintain a constant depth of at least 6 inches of material. 9 or 12 inches is recommended. The cushioning benefits of grit and gravel increase to 12 inches, according to CPSC.

What Buffer Zone?

Create a buffer zone, covered with a protective surfacing material, under all the equipment and around which a child may fall. The protective cover material should extend a minimum of 6 feet in all directions from around the equipment. To prevent further injury from a fall, this area should be no other equipment and obstacles that can strike a child.

Dig a hole

Especially-Fill (sand, fine gravel, mulch, wood chips, etc.) requires a material way as a containment barrier or retaining excavated pit. It also requires good drainage under the material, periodic renewal or replacement, and ongoing maintenance (eg, leveling, grading, sifting, raking) to maintain its depth and to remove foreign matter.

Change-especially Fill Regular

Wet weather, cold temperatures, use normal over time, and contamination will decompose, powder and compact material. Sure to renew or replace it before it becomes hard.

The nitty gritty on Sand and gravel

Even cheap, sand is the least desirable option. Sand can easily scatter outside of your containment area. It also hardens quickly when wet, is abrasive to floor surfaces when tracked indoors, and attracts animals as a litter box. Metal is more difficult to walk and can present a tripping hazard if sparse.

Dandle Safety zones

Swing set must be anchored securely. Swings also should have a buffer zone with a protective cover extending a minimum of 6 feet from the edge of the support structure on each side. The use zone in front and behind the swing should be even larger, and extend a minimum distance of twice the height of the swing as from equal ground with swing hangers on support structure.

Law swing Space

To avoid injury from the impact of moving swings, swings should not be too close together or too close to support structures. Swing spacing should be at least 8 inches between suspended swings and 8 inches from the support frame. The minimum clearance between the ground and underside of swing seat should be 8 inches.

How to make best buffer zone between your child and potential injury. Now, read the safety equipment for more guidelines.

Consider a contractor if you are not ready. Unhandsome playgrounds installed can be an added hazard.

Playgrounds should be inspected on a regular basis. Investigate protective cover, particularly loose-fill, and maintain the proper depth. The following conditions must be removed, corrected or repaired immediately to avoid injury:

Exposed equipment footings.

Scattered debris, litter, rocks or tree roots.

Rust and chipped paint on metal components.

Splinters, large cracks, and decayed wood components.

Deterioration and corrosion to structural elements connect the earth.

Missing or damaged equipment elements, such as handholds, guardrails, swing seats. 1. Install Guard rails - Platforms more than 30 "above the ground should have guardrails to prevent falls.

2. Avoid unsafe openings - In general, openings that are closed to all parties, must be less than 3 1 / 2 "or greater than 9". Openings to between 3'1 / 2 "and 9" present a head entrapment hazard and strangling.

3. Remove pinch or Crush Points - There should be no exposed moving parts that may present a pinching or crushing hazard.

4. Do not Wear Bicycle Helmets on the playground - bike helmets will get stuck in openings on playground equipment, resulting in strangulation or hanging.

5. Avoid dressing especially for children or the chord Clothing playground. Clothing strings, loose clothing, and stringed items placed around the neck can catch on playground equipment and strangle children.

Remember to supervise and teach your child to play safely. Teach your child not to walk or play near a moving swing, and never to tie on playground equipment.

It is not difficult to make your playground safe, if you work from the ground up.

Install protective caps on the ground, use safe equipment, and keep your play area.

In this game plan, called "safe at home!"

American Homeowners Association (Aha) ®

Richard Roll, Founder and President of the American Homeowners Association (Aha) has more than 1 million Homeowners in all 50 states save money by buying and maintaining their homes. For more tools, resources and information to help you keep your home and instantaneously save money go to for a special offer from Aha.

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