Last month I gave my perspective on how playground-related injuries and the different severity of injuries do not necessarily correlate with the notion a currently compliant playground will eliminate or substantially reduce the frequency or severity of injuries. The question which needs to be answered is whether or not performance requirements for both equipment and impact attenuation surface systems are addressing the level of injury, specifically life-threatening and debilitating.
Is it a reasonable expectation of parents that our children are safe when playing on a playground? Safety standards, especially those related to playground safety surfaces, play a huge role in answering this question. But are the safety standards really safe? It could be argued that they currently are not.
I recently had the opportunity to hear Ken Dychtwald speak at the Athletic Business conference. The presentation completely resonated on the way we should be thinking for lifelong health. (Summary: You are never too old to take charge of your life and be healthy.) The comforting thought is that more and more Americans are thinking about longevity of life and doing something about it.
Three months ago I ended my column with the following statement: “Assuming the ISO TC 83 terminology paper 'Injury and Safety Definitions and Thresholds' is approved and published, I will discuss the terms and definitions for different types of injuries and break down each type into various levels of severity.” This document has been approved by the International Organization for Standards Technical Committee ISO/TC 83 for Sports and other recreational facilities and equipment, Subcommittee. I believe it is at their editor for printing where it will be given some sort of identification number similar to what ASTM does. I will share my thoughts on some of the terms and definitions within this document. I will try to relate how they may impact international standards related to child injury prevention in the future.
Loose-fill safety surfacing, such as woodchips, require routine maintenance. It would, however, be a mistake to assume that replacing loose-fill materials with unitary safety surfacing (i.e., poured-...