Play Safe, Play Smart
Slyde says to “Play Smart, Play Safe” at school and at home. Just what is a safe playground at home? In the schools Slyde has warned of entanglements, entrapments, protrusions and falls. These concerns are also true for home play equipment.
In this issue of the Essential Slyde Newsletter:
- Safety Tips for Home Play
- Homeowners Fear of Owning a Backyard Playground
- Obey Teachers and Parents Coloring Page
- Slydetoon: Nighttime is not playtime
- Safety Surfacing Video
With Slyde's home play safety tips, your backyard playground can be a place of fun, excitement, and lasting memories all through their childhood. He says:
- Keep an #0066cc;">EYE on your kids as they play. Supervision is a key to preventing injuries. Parent involvement is also a key to getting the kids outside to play!
- "#0066cc;">EYE-Dentify" if your equipment fits the developmental needs of your kids. Kids have a way of growing up and needing different play challenges. Does your equipment fit them now? Is there a separate play area for the under 5 crowd?
- Play #0066cc;">EYE Spy and see how your home play equipment is weathering the years. Are there broken or rusted parts? Missing parts? Screws protruding? Scattered ground cover that doesn't quite cover anymore? Does your playground need a face lift?
- Keep watch #0066cc;">EYE on the fall surfaces under play equipment. Most injuries come from inadequate cushioning for when the falls happen. Slyde says to watch with one #0066cc;">EYE that there is at least 12 inches of sand, pea gravel, wood chips, mulch, or shredded rubber under all equipment. With the other #0066cc;">EYE make sure the softer surfacing extended at least 6 feet all around the equipment. (For Swings it must extend out twice the top bar height.)
- Look at new equipment options with a critical #0066cc;">EYE. Are there entrapment hazards where a kid can get caught and hurt? And remember clothes can trap too. Slyde says to remember to Tuck it in or Take it Off!"
For more information on the Home Safety Council, see the Play and Playground Encyclopedia.
Homeowners Fear of Owning a Backyard Playground
When I was a kid my neighbor, an elderly home-bound lady, had a “cool” backyard playground. She did not have any children, just a cool playground. We kids would congregate there after school to twirl on the trick-bars, jump on the over-sized trampoline and swing as high as we dared which was high enough to lift the swing legs off the ground enough to really tickle our tummies.
Fortunately for us the swing never tipped over. Fortunately for our parents they never had to sign a “wavier” saying we had permission to be on the property and fortunately for my friendly home-bound neighbor, to my recollection, no one ever got hurt.
Considerations for owning a backyard playground range from where to buy; cheap-cheap or nice lasting equipment from an actual playground store to questions like will having a home playground affect my insurance rates and everything in between. Slyde the Playground Hound suggests you start with the The US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Handbook for Home Playground Equipment. Download a copy now.