Children can practice their motor skills and get much-needed exercise while also getting some fresh air and sunshine through outdoor physical play. In order to ensure playground safety, the National Program for Playground Safety suggests that childcare programs take into consideration four categories. These are the S.A.F.E. categories.
Supervision Active supervision is essential for keeping children safe in appropriate environments and fall surfaces. Scanning, predicting, and evaluating are all aspects of active supervision. Moving through the outdoor space, looking for dangers, anticipating potential dangers, and making necessary adjustments to the environment are all part of this. While play areas and safe equipment are important, nothing can replace active supervision.
Age-appropriate New skills are constantly being learned by children. In terms of motor skills, they may be at different stages of skill development. They might be able to walk, run, and climb, all of which they are currently practicing. All levels of motor skill development must be supported safely by equipment and surfaces. Children's growth will be aided by having access to a wide range of outdoor materials and equipment. On the other hand, allowing children to use equipment that isn't made for them could hurt them. Outdoor equipment age ranges are determined by the typical skill level and muscle development of each age group. In order to lower the likelihood of injury, providers must adhere to these age ranges.
Fall Zone Playing can cause children to fall. It is your responsibility to lessen the severity and frequency of falls. Injury reduction can be aided by keeping the equipment's height, spacing, and surfacing in good working order around it. Examples of suitable surfacing materials include unitary surface materials (rubber tile, poured-in-place, and other artificial surfaces) and loose-fill materials (such as wood products, sand, pea gravel, and crumb rubber). To ensure the safety of children, playground surfaces must be regularly maintained. Shock absorbency will decrease if proper maintenance is not performed. Research has shown gear in excess of 5 feet high dramatically increases the likelihood of injury. Take this into account when determining the height of any outdoor equipment.
Equipment Maintenance All materials and gear should be in great working condition. There ought to be no indication of damage, protrusions, or potential dangers of entrapment. Playground surfaces that are either too hot or too cold pose another risk to children. Inform your supervisor as soon as you notice any issues with the equipment.
Looking for training opportunities to improve the safety of your childcare facility? Check out the courses below offered by ChildCareEd and then visit our website to see a full list of courses.
#playgroundsafety #childcaresupervision #NPPS #keepkidssafe #childcare #supervision