Have you looked at your playground from the eye level of the children in your care? Doing so will show you how children view the world and everything in it. Adults cannot always see everything from our bird's-eye view.
If you are prepared to ensure the safety of children in an outdoor environment, you should be able to make the following statements:
When it comes to ensuring safe outdoor environments, I always do the following:
- I check outdoor play spaces before allowing children to play.
- I correct any minor hazards before children play.
- I check the temperatures of play surfaces so children won’t get burned.
- I report major hazards and do not allow children to play until the problems are fixed.
- I continuously monitor the outdoor play space for hazards while children are playing.
Outdoor play areas must be checked daily for hazards such as broken glass, discarded cigarettes, stinging insect nests, nails, and damaged equipment.
Check for dangerous hardware, like hooks or protruding bolt ends.
Make sure there are no spaces that could trap children, such as openings in guardrails or between ladder rungs.
Check for sharp points or edges in the equipment.
Look out for tripping hazards, like exposed concrete footings, tree stumps, and rocks.
Create a checklist to use each time you plan on taking the children outside. The entire outdoor area must be checked thoroughly prior to bringing children out to ensure there are no hazards that could result in injury.
Playground Inspection Checklist
- Playground area free of litter, debris, or foreign objects.
- Playground area free of tripping hazards.
- Adequate depth of surface under and around equipment.
- Equipment safely anchored.
- Equipment connection, covering or fastening hardware devices not loose or worn.
- Equipment free of potential clothing entanglement hazards.
- Equipment not damaged or vandalized.
- Equipment is free of noticeable gaps
- Equipment is free of head entrapments
- Equipment is free of broken parts
- Equipment is free of missing parts
- Equipment is free of protruding bolts
- Equipment is free of rust
- Equipment is free of splinters
- Equipment is free of cracks/holes
Looking for more information on playground safety? Check out these courses from ChildCareEd or visit our website to view a full list of training courses available.