Playgrounds are an important part of kids' educational environments by allowing them to exercise and expel energy so they can better focus in the classroom. However, playgrounds are commonly the site of many injuries, ranging in severity from minor to serious. As a child care facility, you need to balance keeping playground facilities safe, while still facilitating important developmental play. Protect the liabilities you are exposed to by having the playground on your property.
DUTY OF CARE
Many lawsuits related to playground injuries have been centered around negligence due to the lack of proper supervision. Employees are expected to exhibit a reasonable level of adequate supervision. Child care facilities must also exercise due care to prevent reasonable risk of harm to the children from playground equipment and other playground site hazards.
SAFE PLAYGROUND DESIGN
It's important for children to play on age-appropriate gear. Playgrounds are ultimately safest when equipment is selected for the age of children using it. If you are designing a playground for children of all ages, equipment should be separated into three distinct groups: ages 2 and under, 2-5 year olds, and for 5- to 12-year olds. Also consider these following safety precautions:
- Items with moving parts (seesaws & swings) should be located in a separate area and allow for ample space for movement
- Minimize spaces that could trap a child's head, arms or legs. All openings (such as rungs on a ladder) should be either less than 3.5 inches or more than 9 inches
- Make sure wooden equipment is not cracked or splintered
- Sandbox areas should be inspected regularly and covered at night to prevent animal contamination
PROTECT YOUR RISK
Remain informed of the latest developments in playground safety. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Handbook has a wealth of information regarding playground surface and equipment hazards. All facilities operating with a playground should pay close attention to the children using the equipment.
Contact Carriage Trade Insurance to learn more about our Daycare Insurance and School Insurance options.