In order for a playground to be considered safe for children to use, you must use appropriate park equipment supplies. These supplies, including the actual equipment, surfacing and ADA accessible supplies are available in a wide range of styles and prices. Most commercial playground equipment is a complete set, so all you do is add surfacing and accessories.
When purchasing supplies for playground equipment, you must take the welfare of the children into account. Consider the following suggestions when planning the playground:
1. Give the playground equipment a solid foundation that is appropriate for children.
2. Purchase age appropriate playground equipment and supplies that will appeal to the children.
3. Give disabled children the opportunity to enjoy the playground.
Choose appropriate surfacing for the playground equipmentPlayground surfacing provides a sturdy base for the playground equipment while adding a measure of safety by giving the children something other than the hard ground to land on if they fall. There are numerous surfacing materials available, including recycled rubber and natural wood.
Use age appropriate outdoor playground equipmentChildren in different age groups need different types of playground equipment. If the playground will service children of all ages, you should pick a main piece of equipment that is appropriate for the average age and then add accessories that are suitable for older and younger children. In some cases, such as an early childhood learning center, you can purchase a full set of equipment without worrying about the accessories as all of the children are in the same age group.
Find supplies to make the playground equipment ADA accessibleWhen you are purchasing playground equipment, you should keep disabled children and parents in mind. In most cases, equipment is available that allows disabled children and parents to use the equipment. Offering ADA accessible equipment allows any child to have fun.
- Contact your local code enforcement officials to find out if your area has any special requirements for playground equipment as these codes may affect the equipment you can purchase. In some areas, park equipment must have an antibacterial coating if used in a commercial location.