National Playground Safety Week 2015
DCM Surfaces take playground safety extremely seriously given the industry that we work in. National Playground Safety Week 2015 will take place from April 20th to the 24th and it will be a time to focus on children’s outdoor play environment.
With this in mind, we would like to emphasise the importance of selecting appropriate surfacing for use within the playground environment in order to help minimise injury should a child slip, trip or fall.
Our wet pour safety surface will absorb the impact of a child falling and thus provides a bouncy, cushioned landing. When installing our wet pour safety surfacing into a playground underneath equipment it is extremely important that critical fall height is calculated and the wet pour surface is installed at the correct depth.
Critical fall height is the measurement of the distance between a play surface and the protective safety surfaces and it relates to the maximum height from which a serious injury could occur. The fall height of the equipment should never exceed the critical height of the surface in the design of playgrounds.
The distance is calculated from the point at which the feet can stand and not the top of the playground equipment, it is where the child would stand at the highest point during normal height.
For seesaws the fall height is the maximum height reached by the seat unit itself and for spring rockers it’s calculated from the height of the seat unit as well. When it comes to playground swings, the critical fall height is measured from the centre of the stationary swing seat at 60 degrees. To calculate this you would divide the chain length by two and then add the distance from the seat to the ground and this would give you the measurement required.
Any playground equipment which is stationary, with a critical fall height of 1.5m or less should have safety surfacing which will extend at least 1.5m beyond the edges of the equipment.
When visiting a playground with your children you should first inspect the playground and its equipment to ensure it is safe for your child to play.
First of all take a look at the equipment is not broken, if anything is broken you should report this to the local council immediately as playing on broken equipment could cause serious injury to your child..
Secondly you should look at the surfacing installed in the playground area, check to see if it is a safety surface this should feel bouncy but also check that there is no broken glass, rubbish or worst case any drug paraphernalia lying around which unfortunately is common.
Thirdly you should ensure your child uses the equipment how it is supposed to be and doesn’t climb onto areas which are not supposed to be climbed onto – such as roofs and climbing up slides etc.
Always ensure you supervise your child on any play equipment and encourage proper usage of the equipment at all times.
For more information regarding National Playground Safety Week 2015 speak to our friendly team or look out for promotions and events near you.