If you're hoping to get your kids more active this year, outdoor playground equipment can encourage more play, exploration, and time away from digital screens. When setting up outdoor equipment, it's important to ensure that the equipment is safe and durable to prevent accidents and injuries.
Here are some steps for maintaining and repairing outdoor playground equipment:
Quality Materials and Craftsmanship
Safe and durable outdoor playground equipment starts with sturdy materials and expert craftsmanship. Although this might be a more substantial initial investment, it can prevent injuries and reduce the risk of injury for the lifetime of the outdoor playground equipment.
Most outdoor playground equipment is largely constructed from wood and/or plastics. Although there's nothing wrong with either material, choosing outdoor playground equipment with slightly higher qualities of wood and/or plastics can be well worth the investment. For instance, choosing pressure-treated wood will prevent your outdoor playground equipment from warping when exposed to moisture. Similarly, polycarbonate (PC) plastics are much stronger than other plastics used to construct outdoor playground equipment.
Although you hope that your children will never suffer an injury, you must take steps to prevent them from happening. Never choose outdoor playground equipment without first doing a little research on the manufacturer. If the manufacturer has a history of litigation related to their products, you might want to eliminate them from your shopping choices.
Always install protective surfacing such as mulch or rubber tiles around the equipment to provide a cushion in case of falls. Also, follow the manufacturer's recommendations for the appropriate thickness and type of protective surfacing.
Keeping Play Safe
Once you choose outdoor playground equipment, you'll need to make sure it stays safe for your children.
- Set a Reminder: set a reminder on your phone or calendar to inspect your outdoor playground equipment every few months. When you perform these inspections, look for potential hazards or areas of wear and tear. Also, look for loose bolts, sharp edges, and splintered wood. Repair or replace any damaged parts immediately.
- Keep it Clean: task your children with removing trash and debris from the equipment regularly to prevent accidents. For most outdoor playground equipment, a mild soap and water solution is sufficient to clean the equipment as needed.
- Supervision: children should be supervised while using playground equipment to ensure their safety. Teach children to use the equipment properly and to follow any rules that are posted