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Spring into Safety: Playgrounds

At this time of year, it is common to find children eager for the warmer weather and the ability to enjoy your church playground. As we get closer to spring, it is a good idea to begin thinking about inspecting your playground equipment to ensure the safety of the children who will play on it. Additionally, adequate playground supervision is another item to reflect on. Prepare your playground for the year by completing proper inspections and maintenance, as well as training your supervisors.

Inspection and Maintenance

There are numerous things to consider when inspecting your playgrounds. Consider the following when working to keep your playground up to par:

  • Create a maintenance schedule for an easy way to organize your playground inspections.

  • Perform regular inspections on equipment, such as playground corners or edges, protective caps, equipment anchors, handrails, guardrails, protective barriers, steps, rungs or ladders.

  • Make sure surfaces around playground equipment have adequate shock absorbing material installed.

  • Always check your playground for broken glass or other debris that could be dangerous. To reduce the likelihood of finding such items, conveniently locate and maintain trash receptacles on the playground.

  • To prevent children from tripping while at play, correct or remove any hazards, such as exposed concrete footings, tree stumps and rocks.

  • Warm weather brings snowmelt and a lot of rain. Repair any areas that have inadequate drainage or low spots that would allow standing water.

Supervision

Even with regular inspection and maintenance, the supervision on playgrounds also is crucial to children’s safety. It is important that all supervisors have an understanding of the basics of playground safety, and are given proper training. All supervisors should be trained on the following:

  • The types of playground equipment provided;
  • The hazards associated with the different types of playground equipment;
  • Age-appropriateness of playground equipment;
  • First aid;
  • Strangulation or entrapment hazards for children on the playground; and
  • The church’s procedures regarding how to handle emergencies.

Providing adequate care for children is an important aspect of your ministry. With spring fast approaching, ensure your playgrounds are safe to use by inspecting all of your equipment and training your supervisors. For more information on playgrounds, read the Playground Safety fact sheet on SafeChurch.com.

© 2024 GuideOne Insurance. GuideOne® is the registered trademark of the GuideOne Insurance Company. All rights reserved. This material is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to give specific legal or risk management advice, nor are any suggested checklists or action plans intended to include or address all possible risk management exposures or solutions. You are encouraged to retain your own expert consultants and legal advisors in order to develop a risk management plan specific to your own activities.