While playgrounds are great fun for children and families, inspecting playgrounds is serious business. Why? A well-inspected and maintained playground helps to keep those same children and families safe from potential harm.
Here is a short list of things you should look for when inspecting a playground:
- Rusted or flaking metal
- Surface dirt and contamination
- Paint damage or peeling
- Loose screws or hardware
- Hardware that is too long or sticks out
- Cracking or broken plastic pieces
- Age appropriate and warning stickers
Playground Inspection Point: Rusted or Flaking Metal
Playground inspectors, especially CPSI certified inspectors & trainers like the team at Playground Guardian, look for rusted or flaking metal as a problem point during playground inspections. Not only will damaged or rusting metal eventually fail, it can cause injuries if children come in contact with it.
Playground Inspection Point: Dirt and Contamination
Prior to COVID-19, most families did not often consider how dirty playground equipment can be. Surface contamination like animal droppings can be an issue on the playground equipment as well as the playground surfaces. When inspecting a playground, you should always identify areas that have surface contamination and clean those areas as soon as possible. Also, consider a regular cleaning and sanitizing schedule for your playground equipment.
Playground Inspection Point: Damaged or Peeling Paint
When inspecting a playground or playground equipment you should be aware of damage to paint, or areas where paint may be bubbled or peeling away from the subsurface. This can lead to worsening damage on metal parts, like rust, or in areas where paint is bubbling up it can be an indicator that rust may be present under the paint.
Playground Inspection Point: Loose Hardware
It may seem obvious to look for loose hardware like bolts or screws, but it can be overlooked. Given that these simple devices are what holds most playground equipment together it is vital that they be present and tightened to the appropriate specifications for the playground equipment.
Playground Inspection Point: Protruding Hardware
Many people would think that if a screw or bolt sticks out underneath a piece of playground equipment that it may not be a major concern. Children go everywhere and explore everything on playground equipment so hardware that is too long for an attachment application should be examined and ground down to prevent anyone from catching on it and receiving an injury.
Playground Inspection Point: Cracked Plastic
Plastic is a common material on most modern playground equipment and it can be very durable. However, just like any other material it can wear down over time from heavy play, abuse, and even sunlight. Inspectors should always check plastic elements of playground equipment, like sliding boards, for spider cracks and other larger cracks.
Playground Inspection Point: Stickers and Signs
Playground inspectors should look for age-appropriateness stickers and warning signage that indicates which children a particular playground is designed for, as well as any relevant warnings to help prevent injury. Not only can these help families stay safe, their presence is important for insurance purposes.
What is the Next Step for Playground Inspections?
If your business, organization, or municipality is considering options for regular inspections you should be sure to get the proper training, and use the proper tools.
Playground Guardian offers playground inspection services which are performed by CPSI certified inspectors. Those inspections are also performed and tracked using our Park Protector playground inspection software to keep audit, inspection, maintenance, and other notes for record keeping purposes. If you are considering doing your own playground inspections the CPSI certified instructors at Playground Guardian can train your team.
Here are some helpful links to look at when thinking about your next steps:
- Playground Inspection Services
- Park Protector (playground inspection software)
- Playground Cleaning & Playground Sanitization Services
Also, if you have any questions feel free to reach out to the team at Playground Guardian for a consultation!