Playgrounds are an immensely important aspect of a school, allowing kids to burn off energy and explore the world around them. Being able to manipulate their environment and perform a variety of physical activities is key to refining their motor skills. Unfortunately, this also puts them at risk of injury. Schools have attempted to make playgrounds as safe as possible but it’s a hefty task. Allow us to suggest some ways schools can improve playground safety.
If it isn’t already, your playground should have surfacing to act as a cushion for any falls that occur. While woodchips or shredded rubber don’t seem all that soft, they’ve been proven to be effective at reducing serious injuries when kids fall from greater heights—like jumping off the swings. They manage this by having shock-absorbing properties and, while the landing still might feel rough, you’re less likely to cause serious damage to your body.
Now more important than ever thanks to COVID-19, you should be regularly sanitizing and disinfecting your plastic playground equipment. Germs and bacteria are abstract concepts to kids; it’s common for them to pass around germ-infested toys or touch the same equipment without a second thought. To prevent outbreaks of illness throughout your school, a thorough cleaning is necessary on a regular schedule.
Another way schools can improve playground safety is by providing small shelters and alcoves where kids can sit and shield themselves from the sun or cold. Some days kids don’t want to run around—they’d prefer to sit and do something quiet. Especially in the summer, when the heat is truly sweltering, it’ll give them a shield from the sun and help prevent heatstroke. Shelters are a great way to not only look after the safety of kids but provide an extra amenity for them.