If you share your apartment with small children, then you're probably all about having quality time with your kids. Finding the right place to live happily as a busy family means having adequate on-site green space and a dedicated playground for your little people.
So that everyone can stay safe, we have some tips to help your kids avoid hazards and just have fun.
It's critical to have shade where playground equipment is located. Summer temperatures don't need to be scorching in the 90-degree zone for equipment to get too hot to touch.
Parents should always check if equipment feels too hot for your little one to play on. Metal slides, a metal chain on a swing set, or even the adorable spring rider shaped like a lady bug could heat up into the triple digits from noon to 5 p.m., the hottest hours of the day.
Monitor the time of day for romps on the playground. The morning or after dinner are sensible considerations.
Whether it's you or the babysitter keeping a supervisory eye, your kids should never be left alone on playground equipment. Texting, chatting with a neighbor or petting a dog could mean you're nothing short of oblivious. In an instant, playtime turns to chaos when a little one decides to stand or kneel on a swing when no one was watching.
Where the playground is located on the property is pivotal to maintaining a safe space for your kids to be kids.
Shoddy surfacing is a playground threat. At least 12-inches of proper cushioning material is key to kids' safety while at play, according to the National Safety Council. Will wood mulch or wood chips be the best choice for protecting children around a playset?
While mulch is so much better than asphalt or concrete for avoiding cuts and bruises, it does have a downside. Negative factors include splinters, mold developing when wet, and in cold temperatures, if it freezes, it doesn't provide much of a soft landing spot. Wood chips may also contain chromated copper arsenate (CCA), a wood preservative treatment that could be a potential health worry.
An alternative to wood much includes rubber/vinyl mulch. It's splinter-free, immune to mold growth and it's long lasting. Plus, kids love it because it's colorful.
Screws, hooks and bolts poking out of spots where kids play could be an eye injury waiting to happen. If the playground is mostly made of wood, there could be a risk for rotted splinters. Wooden swing seats are a no-no and should be replaced with a softer material.
Since safety is always first, you have every right to ensure that your kids won't suffer injuries:
If you're certain the playground where you dwell (or want to live) checks off all the boxes, then enjoy it to the fullest. Your kids will be happier if you can play and be outdoors together as a family.