Sunday, May 15, 2011

Backyard Playground Safety Issues

Safety in backyard playgrounds is obviously just as necessary as at public facilities.

"Ten years ago, a study conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission discovered more deaths occurred on backyard playground equipment than on public playgrounds," recently reported. "A 2009 study from the CPSC found that 40 deaths were associated with playground equipment between 2001 to 2008, the majority of which were the result of hangings or asphyxiations."

Toward preventing such tragedies, the article highlights "location," "equipment," "surfaces" and "inspection" as the keys to a consistently safe backyard play area.

Playground placement is especially emphasized:

"Location, location, location! A home playground's location is very important. When deciding where to put a playground, consider its accessibility."

Earshot distance is a suggested gauge for determining a reasonable distance for responders -- be they parental or paramedic -- in the event of an emergency.

Other statistics of note:
  •  On Equipment -- "A 2009 report from the CPSC indicated that climbers were associated with 23 percent of all playground injuries while swings were associated with 22 percent."
  • On Surfaces -- "According to the CPSC, 67 percent of playground accidents between 2001 and 2008 involved falls or equipment failure."

Regarding playground equipment "inspection," the article advises parents to make children very aware that they should immediately report if anything is loose or not properly functioning.

"Kids often like to play rough, and as a result playgrounds commonly take quite a beating," the article states. "Even if equipment was sturdy at installation and was installed to the letter of the manufacturer's instructions, parents should routinely inspect equipment to ensure it's holding up to the wear and tear of children."