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 have written previously about my contention that playgrounds and the playground industry have become increasingly out of sync with the needs of children and our communities. It is time we look at ways to make playgrounds more relevant. To begin that discussion we need to start by establishing what the fundamental conditions that support play are. At the most basic level, there are really only two things one needs to provide for play to thrive: Choice and Safety. While these words appear simple, we will see that, in this context, they are very complex ideas.