Playgrounds are a great place for kids to burn off energy, get some exercise, and have fun. But they can be dangerous if they do not follow proper safety guidelines. Playground safety is an important topic, so anyone writing a playground safety rulebook needs to be well-informed and knowledgeable. Children’s lives depend on the quality of your rulebook, so it’s a big responsibility. This is your guide to writing a playground safety rulebook.
Getting started and doing research
“The first thing you’ll need to do is research your topic and make yourself an expert before you write anything down. It’s important you use good sources,” suggests Gilbert Butler, writer at Academized and StateofWriting. One excellent place to look is Playground Professionals, you will find lots of good information about the industry’s standards, regulations, and more. Manufacturers should build their playgrounds according to these regulations. There is a litany of hazards that exist and they need to be prevented, including sharp points and edges, protrusions, tripping hazards, maximum fall heights, and stability. There should be time devoted in your rulebook to stairs, ladders, platforms, slides, swinging, climbing, rotating, and surfacing.
One crucial issue for special attention is surfacing. There are many surfaces, and the kind you choose should be based on factors such as the activity happening in the area. “Falls are a huge part of playground injuries, so follow regulations when deciding on the surfacing in your playground. Maintenance and regular checkups are necessary to ensure your surfacing is still operational, and that goes for the rest of your playground as well,” recommends Donna Tracy, writer at BigAssignments and AustralianReviewer. In your rulebook, emphasize the importance of having a maintenance person responsible for checking on the integrity of the playground equipment regularly. This kind of preventative maintenance stops injuries before they happen and results in smaller minor fixes, instead of the playground being roped off for a major repair later on.
Supervision is a key part of maintaining a safe playground environment, and your safety rulebook should reflect that fact. Teachers, teaching assistants, program coordinators, and volunteers are often the ones watching children on the playground, and all too often they are not trained properly. Supervisors should be trained specifically about the unique injury possibilities that children and playgrounds present. A big part of good supervision is the adult to child ratio. What is the correct ratio? It depends on the age, mental, and physical abilities of the children, as well as environmental factors. Explain these factors and how they relate to supervision and playground safety in your rulebook.
Another issue your rulebook needs to address is age-appropriate playgrounds. Think any playground is appropriate and safe for a child in any age group? Think again. There are three categories of playground when it comes to age: toddlers (6-23 months), preschool (2-5 years), and school-age children (5-12 years). Purchasing preschool playground equipment for toddler age children is a common mistake, and worth pointing out in your rulebook. While this difference may seem minor, it can make a huge difference in terms of head and neck entrapment, heights between platforms, and equipment corners.
Writing your rulebook
Once it’s time to sit down and write your rulebook, there are a couple things to keep in mind. It’s crucial that the editing and proofreading are top-notch. Why? Well, clarity, for one thing, people need to be able to easily follow and understand your safety rules. The other reason is credibility. You need your rulebook to be seen as a credible and reliable source of playground safety information. If you leave typos and other errors in your book, you lose your credibility and people don’t read your rulebook. Check out tools such as ViaWriting, OxEssays, and UKTopWriters for proofreading help.
Playgrounds are an amazing resource for children of all ages, provided they are built, maintained, and supervised according to the proper safety regulations. Writing a playground safety rulebook is an important and challenging job. Take your time and do the research using the correct sources. Write and proofread your rulebook to a professional standard so that it’s read as a credible source. Use online resources and make your playground safety rulebook a useful resource that will provide guidance for years to come.