Great Tips for Summer Playground Safety (by A-OK Playgrounds)

We spend a large amount of time during summer outdoors. Kids can play outside for hours and hours with so many activities. We must be aware that the sun is at its hottest and becomes potentially dangerous. Harmful UV rays have become a real concern. Here are some tips for helpful information about keeping your playground safe. It is so important to learn and follow the information in the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) Public Playground Safety Handbook. These are the manufacturing standards that govern commercial playground equipment, along with Parks and Recreation, and for playground installation.

1. Hydration

It is so important that children have access to plenty of water during the hot summer months. Bring some frozen bottles of water or ice cold water to the playground. Children can exert so much energy quickly. Some playgrounds might have a water foundation, but they might not, or it might be broken. Just make sure kids have access at all times.

2. Use sunscreen/sunblock

Even with a shade, it is impossible to block out the sun completely in a playground. Everyone needs to use plenty of sunscreen or sunblock to screen out harmful UV rays. Most playgrounds don't have a shade structure, so be care ful as children need to be protected. It might only take 30 minutes of exposure to do damage. Teach your children about sun exposure.

3. Temperature of the playground equipment and surfacing

Metal and plastic are what most commercial play equipment is made from. The CPSC handbook states. Swing seats can heat up too. When direct sunlight exposes the equipment, they may reach temperatures high enough to cause serious contact burn injuries in seconds. Always have your kids learn to check the equipment, prior to using it.

4. Adding Shade Structures for safety

Excessive sunlight cab also create long-term health problems for kids. To minimize sun exposure, the CPSC Handbook recommends man-made structures and natural shade (i.e., trees) as ways to bring shade to your play area.

5. Insects

Wasps and bees can nest under and inside commercial playground equipment. Watch for insects flying around and see where they go. If you see a nest, contact the playground operator immediately.

6. Weather forecasts

Keep track of weather forecasts, especially during summer as storms can develop in minutes. Try to avoid rain downpours and lightning. Also check playground structures to make sure that surfaces haven’t become slippery.

7. Check splitting and cracking on clamps and slides on play equipment

The sun is very strong. It can be an issue with the joints of playground equipment, which can crack metal and plastic. You should inspect these items regularly for strength and surface texture. Check to see if anything is loose. It only takes minutes to ensure playground safety.

For any questions, please call A-OK Playgrounds at (512) 826-8800 or email us at 

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