Playgrounds are places meant for fun and development, not danger. This means there is a need to place special focus on the safety of our playgrounds. It is important that any equipment that goes into our playgrounds meets today’s safety requirements, environmental concerns and technological standards. Below, we are going to focus on once-common pieces of equipment that are no longer allowed in our playgrounds.
Wood Playground Equipment
These days, playground planners are advised not to use wood equipment in their playscapes—especially those that have been treated using Chromate copper arsenate (CCA). This chemical was used to prevent insect and fungi infestation, but the problem with CCA is that it contains arsenic which is harmful to human beings and leaches into the ground.
Animal swings are equipment pieces designed using various animal-like shapes such as tigers, ducks, lions and so on. These swings are normally made of rigid plastic to allow for their creative shapes, but this material choice leads to heavier than average swings that may cause serious injuries when a child is playing.
These climbing fixtures were once a common sight on playgrounds. They consist of a single bar positioned between two chains in a hanging position to allow children to swing back and forth, spin and dangle upside down. Trapeze bars are easy to fall off because of their mobile nature, and children cannot see or know when they are facing imminent danger. A safer alternative would be ground fixed bars.
This are similar to trapeze bars but not as common. Gym rings are pieces of training equipment that should only be used under the guidance and supervision of a coach. They are easy to fall from when children are playing rough, which can lead to injuries. On top of this, their long chains can lead to entanglement dangers, and a lot of children lack the strength in their upper bodies to properly use gym rings.
Tire Swings with Real Tires
Real tire swings are heavy, attract dirt and hold water during rainy seasons, leading to breeding grounds for insects and mold. Tires are heavier than plastic, making them dangerous for our children if the swing falls on them.
Shiny Silver Metal Slides
When exposed to the sun for hours on end, shiny silver metals can become dangerously hot to touch. They can be dangerous when used on exposed bare metal slides, steps, surfaces and platforms which can cause burns for children using the equipment. Take into account the summer heat plus short gym shorts, and it’s no surprise that this equipment can lead to serious third degree burns. Opt for plastic instead when choosing a material for your playground’s slide.
Metal Jungle Gyms
This piece of equipment is designed like prison bars that children get to climb. These hard metal bars can be dangerous in the case of a misstep or a fall, and younger children can become trapped inside the cage if they accidentally fall in but lack the motor skills to climb back out.
We should be careful when deciding which pieces of equipment should be allowed in our playgrounds, as some can pose real danger to children without showing obvious signs of threat. Many appear harmless, but in reality they can cause serious injury or harm when not used properly. It’s safest to avoid them altogether and opt for safer equipment.