If there’s anyone who knows a thing or two about safety, it’s dads! Dads are dedicated to keeping their little ones safe no matter where they are. Safety is doubly important outside as it is indoors, and even more so when it’s on the playground. Beyond teaching your kids good playground safety and preparing them for the outdoors, here are a few things dads should look for in a playground before allowing their kids to run wild. Or better yet, look out for the following when purchasing playground equipment for your home.
Look for hair and finger traps
A poorly designed playground will have places children can get hair, fingers, and clothing ties stuck in as they play. These traps look like surface-level rivets and narrow gaps, and even larger gaps can pose a risk of children getting their heads stuck between them. Assess the size of these gaps, and if necessary point them out to your little one before they start playing.
Check the ground surrounding the jungle gym
Children are always going to take a tumble, and there are bound to be a few bruises or scraped knees. However, no one wants it to get any worse than that, and checking the jungle gym and surroundings is how dads can prevent more serious falls.
The texture and firmness of the ground are going to either help or hurt children as they play. Concrete floors are unforgiving, and often rough enough to result in some serious scrapes. Grass provides some cushioning, but thinning grass with the dirt below isn’t going to help much at all.
If it’s a public park, be sure to check the area around the jungle gym for glass, rubbish or the like. And high traffic areas, like the bottom of the slide, can become eroded over time – if you’re worried about children, especially toddlers, landing hard on this area, you can opt to catch them at the bottom of the slide during playtime.
Check the surface of the jungle gym
On a hot summer’s day, the surface of jungle gyms can get quite hot! Especially if it’s been constantly exposed to sunlight. Metal and even plastic slides can get hot enough to burn any exposed skin, especially a toddler’s more delicate skin. If the surface is scorching to the touch, don’t let your little ones play on it. If it’s warm or hot to the touch, just make sure the kids are effectively covered when using the slides, i.e shirts tucked in, to prevent skin contact or friction burns.
The surface of the jungle gym itself should be smooth and varnished to prevent splinters that can get stuck in the skin. The timber that goes into making a jungle gym should be completely smooth; if it’s another type of wood, like gum bark, it can have surface irregularities that children can scrape themselves on.
Assess the playground structure
Dads know better than anyone, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do everything. And this is true for jungle gyms as well! To guarantee the fun and safety of all who use playground equipment, there are some best practices that should be upheld in the planning and manufacturing phase to guarantee a safe, durable and fun playground. Tumbled timber poles allow for a solid, sturdy structure that slots together to prevent hair and finger traps, and no part of the structure is at risk of falling apart.
Find Playground Equipment you can Trust
You’ll recognize a well-built jungle gym when you see one. At Kidbuddie, we’ve perfected the art of crafting wooden playground equipment and jungle gyms for children of all ages, designed to last and provide hours of fun, exercise and enrichment. Our jungle gyms inspire the imagination and encourage play, with activities that hone all their developing skills and muscles. If you’re looking for playground equipment that will get your seal of approval, take a look at our range of equipment to find the ideal jungle gym for your little ones.