With winter coming to a brisk end here in the UK, we can now look forward to enjoying some warmer days ahead. However, nicer weather could bring with it some unpleasant consequences for schools. With children heading outside to play, the likelihood of trips, falls and skids in the playground could rise.
Here are five things to keep in mind when children are playing outside:
1. Playground related accidents are on the rise
With around 40,000 injuries taking place in playgrounds each year, it’s not uncommon for playground accidents to happen. Many of the injuries have been so severe they have resulted in hospital visits.
2. School children may be banned from using the playground if it’s unsafe
A school in Wales has been banned from allowing their pupils to play outside due to an inadequate playground surface being installed. The material chosen was poor quality and whilst saved the school money at the outset, has cost them more in the long term.
3. Playground managers can be sued for negligence
It’s important that school staff maintain a responsible level of care during playground duty. Teachers and teaching assistants should make sure that both the equipment and surface of the playground is safe and fit for purpose.
4. Playgrounds should be separated in age groups
In the safest playgrounds, select areas are designated to different age groups. This is to ensure the equipment sizes, proportions, height of play and landing area are appropriate for the child in order to avoid injuries.
5. Surfaces should be maintained regularly
Grass, rubber and woodchip surfaces should be maintained regularly to make sure that the surface is loosely packed and covers all areas. Grass can be worn down and woodchip can move with footfall and weather conditions, therefore the positioning and presentation of the surface should be monitored.
Injuries and legal action can be avoided by selecting the correct surface that will protect children from falls, be hard-wearing, easy to maintain and cause fewer hazards (including water puddles and mud). Artificial grass, such as Evergreens UK’s LazyLawn® brand, is the perfect surface for any play area. The surface can withstand lots of little footprints, requires minimal maintenance and has an absorbing layer to prevent liquid build up, making this ideal for schools and areas of play searching for a safer and colourful alternative to other surfacing products.
For more information please visit Evergreens UK.