Jan. 8, 2024

8 Tips for Playground Safety from Our Playground Builders

Playground safety is so important, and it’s at the forefront of what we do. From ensuring our play equipment complies with the latest safety regulations to providing regular maintenance schedules to our customers, we have a strict safety policy that we take seriously.

But playground safety is a continuous process – it goes beyond the initial installation of the equipment and requires ongoing attention, both from the organisation that owns the playground and from the parents and caregivers of the children who use it.

Our guide will take you through what playground safety is and why it’s so important, and a breakdown of our top playground safety tips.

Our top tips for playground safety:

For Playground Management: -

  1. Carry out regular playground inspections
  2. Maintain your Playground
  3. Use safe surfaces and high quality materials
  4. Make it easy parent and caregivers to report issues

For Parents and Caregivers: -

  1. Actively supervise children
  2. Report any issues with the playground as soon as possible
  3. Make sure your children use age appropriate equipment
  4. Talk to your children about playground safety

What is Playground Safety?

Playground safety refers to the legal requirements and guidelines implemented to prevent injuries and ensure a safe environment for children to play. It includes…

  • Design of playground equipment
  • Maintenance of playground equipment
  • Surfacing materials used
  • Supervision of children and playground users
  • General behaviour guidelines for children and playground users

Understanding playground safety is essential for preventing avoidable accidents and creating an environment that encourages physical activity and fosters children's social, emotional, and intellectual development.

Why is Playground Safety Important?

Playground safety is paramount because it directly impacts the well-being of children – after all, the intention of a playground is to promote a fun space! Some bumps are inevitable like a little tumble or knee graze, but children should be protected from more serious injuries.

When playground safety measures are properly implemented and followed, the risk of injury significantly decreases, allowing children to enjoy the full benefits of outdoor play.

Aside from physical safety, a secure playground also contributes to a child's psychological comfort, offering a safe space for them to develop their social and emotional skills. If they feel protected, then they’ll be more likely to explore their creative potential through play.

Read What is Creative Play?

Our Advice on Managing Playground Safety

As the owner of a playground site, you’re responsible for managing the upkeep and safety of the playground equipment and the playground itself. You’ll be expected to regularly maintain the equipment following a maintenance schedule, monitor the integrity of the playground surface, and take any necessary steps to maintain overall safety.

And this applies to all types of playgrounds, whether that’s school playgrounds, housing development playgrounds or big commercial play areas.

We’ve broken down our top pieces of advice for managing the safety and maintenance of your playground.

1) Carry Out Regular Playground Inspections

Regular inspections are integral to maintaining playground safety. They help identify any potential hazards or wear and tear that could result in injuries, and, as the playground site owner, it whittles down to your responsibility to make sure these inspections are carried out properly.

Playground inspections should be carried out on a weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis, whether that’s done by you or a professional playground inspector. We have a more detailed article discussing the scheduling of playground inspections and what’s involved – we strongly recommend reading it through.

How Often Should Playground Equipment Be Inspected? Our Guide to Safe Play

2) Maintain Your Playground

From your maintenance inspections, you might identify pieces of playground equipment that need repairing or replacing.

Maintaining your playground equipment is paramount for ensuring playground safety. Continuous use and exposure to various weather conditions can cause wear and tear, leading to potential safety hazards. Broken or worn-out equipment can pose a significant injury risk, as they may have sharp edges or create unstable platforms.

If you do spot anything that’s not up to scratch, you’ll need to arrange to have the equipment repaired or replaced as soon as possible. Damaged equipment may not function as intended, putting children at risk when they use it.

As part of our comprehensive playground service, we offer ongoing support should any of your Huck Play equipment need repairing. Our playground inspectors will visit your site, assess the equipment thoroughly, and then recommend what needs to be done to restore it – which we’ll carry out.

Contact Us to Arrange a Site Visit

3) Use Safe Surfaces & High-Quality Materials Throughout the Playground

The surfaces you use in your playgrounds play an important role in keeping children safe. Although we don't like to think about falls, children will inevitably experience trips and falls while running around and playing, but the injuries caused by these tumbles can be mitigated with appropriate surfaces.

Installing a shock-absorbing surface, such as wood chips or rubber mats, can help to provide a softer surface to avoid serious injury while playing.

All surfaces should be made from high-quality materials like our signature Hercules Rope, which has high abrasion resistance, and our Douglas Fir posts, which can withstand harsh weather conditions.

4) Make it Easy for Parents to Report Issues

Enabling parents to easily report issues with playground equipment is crucial for maintaining a safe play environment. Parents and caregivers will usually monitor their kids at playgrounds and spend a lot of time there, so they’re likely to also notice any potential hazards or malfunctions in the playground equipment.

By reporting these concerns, they contribute to maintaining high safety standards. This collaborative effort between playground management and parents ensures that potential risks are addressed promptly, further preventing possible injuries and accidents.

The process of reporting issues should be as easy as possible to encourage parents to engage. Making sure there are clear signs with a phone number or email address for reporting incidents or damage is really important.

Our Tips for Parents & Caregivers on Playground Safety

While a lot of the responsibility for reducing playground-related injuries lies with the playground owners, there's also a level of responsibility that lies with parents and caregivers accompanying children. Young children should always be accompanied by an adult to the playground to monitor their play and help them understand the rules of the playground.

There are a few simple things you can do when taking your child to the park to keep them and other children safe.

1) Actively Supervise Your Children

This might seem like the most simple tip, but it can be easy to forget that children need adult supervision. Although playgrounds are designed with child safety in mind, it's still necessary to supervise your children, especially if they're younger kids.

Being present at the playground allows you to keep an eye on your child's activities, ensuring they play safely and don’t engage in risky behaviour. Supervision from a responsible adult can help prevent falls, collisions, entanglement, or other accidents.

Well-designed playgrounds will have considered supervision and will have multiple points that give you a clear line of sight when your child is playing, making supervising your children much easier!

Read The Benefits of Huck Play’s Custom Playground Design Services

2) Report Any Issues With the Playground as Soon as Possible

As much as playground management companies have a responsibility to make it possible to report issues with a playground, parents and caregivers have a responsibility to report issues.

Even if a playground is regularly inspected by builders or maintenance companies, they don't see the play equipment as often as you do. This means you can spot issues or damage a lot sooner than a scheduled inspection will. The earlier an issue is reported, the quicker it can be remedied, and child injuries can be avoided.

3) Make Sure Your Children Use Age-Appropriate Play Equipment

One of the most important pieces of safety advice we can give you is to make sure your children use age-appropriate playground equipment. Playgrounds are designed with specific age groups in mind, and younger children may not have the same coordination or strength as older ones.

Make sure they're aware of which areas of the playground are suitable for them to play on. If your child is too young for a particular piece of apparatus, explain why and encourage them to find an alternative more suitable for them.

Often, playgrounds are split into separate play areas to keep smaller children more contained, featuring equipment such as Baby Swings, small climbing structures like our Sparrow's Nest with Slide, and basic rope play equipment like our ”Junior” Play Ship.

4) Talk to Your Kids About Playground Safety

Many playground-related injuries stem from children misusing play equipment. Talking to your children about playground safety can help them understand why certain behaviours are dangerous. Explain to them the importance of following playground safety rules and using equipment correctly.

Most playground injuries are completely avoidable if playground rules are adhered to. Encourage them to use their common sense and report any issues with the playground they see. When children understand how their actions can impact themselves and others, they're more likely to act responsibly while playing.

Build a Safe Playground With Huck Play

Playground safety is a collective responsibility that requires the continuous efforts of both playground management and parents or caregivers. From ensuring regular inspections and maintenance of playground equipment to fostering safe play behaviours among children, every step matters.

With informed and proactive actions, we can create a safe and enjoyable play environment that nurtures our children's physical, emotional, and social development.

If you're looking to upgrade your playground or need any further advice on maintaining your playground, head on over to our blog or get in touch with us to discuss a project!

Phone: 01308 425 100

Email: hello@huckplay.co.uk



What Are Common Hazards in the Playground?

Common hazards in playgrounds include inappropriate surfaces, which can lead to injuries from falls, poorly maintained or damaged equipment that may have sharp edges or unstable platforms, lack of supervision leading to risky behaviours, and children using age-inappropriate equipment. It's essential for playground management and parents or caregivers to address these hazards to maintain a safe play environment.

How Does Huck Play Ensure Playground Safety?

Playground management plays a vital role in ensuring playground safety by conducting regular inspections and maintenance, replacing worn or broken equipment, and promptly addressing reported issues. They also create easy-to-follow processes for reporting hazards and design playgrounds with clear visibility for adult supervisors. Their role includes promoting safety rules and providing age-appropriate equipment to prevent injuries.

How Often Should Playground Equipment Be Inspected to Ensure Safety?

Professional inspections should be conducted annually to ensure adherence to safety standards and regulations. More regular inspections should be carried out by general maintenance staff when they perform routine tasks.

How Can Playground Equipment Pose a Safety Risk to Children?

Playground equipment can pose a safety risk to children if it's not properly maintained. Damaged or worn-out equipment can cause injuries due to sharp edges or unstable platforms. Regular inspections and repairs are crucial to maintain the safety of the playground equipment.

How Can Parents & Caregivers Actively Contribute to Playground Safety?

Parents and caregivers can actively contribute to playground safety by supervising their children during play, reporting playground hazards promptly, and educating their children about safe play behaviours. They should also ensure their children use age-appropriate play equipment and teach them how to fall safely to prevent serious injuries.