In today's digital world, more kids are spending time inside than outside. And with two-thirds of parents saying they worry about the amount of time their kids spend on electronic devices, it's important to always encourage kids to get outside and get active. And what better place for kids to just be kids than on a playground? If you manage a commercial playground, it's important to make sure all of the equipment is in good shape for kids to use. So to help you out, we've put together a simple checklist to help you keep track of playground repairs and maintenance.
- General inspections: The entire playground should be inspected from top to bottom at least once a week. This inspection should include looking at not only the equipment, but the pathways, hard surfaces, and playground border as well. Look for any signs of wear and tear or damage that need to be fixed right away.
- Swing sets: Swings are a common staple for most playgrounds. And because of their excessive use, they tend to wear quickly. So check to ensure there is no exposed metal or cracking on the swing seat. The swing chain and connectors should be in good shape and not excessively worn.
- Moving parts: Most playgrounds consist of equipment that has plenty of different moving parts. Climbers, swing sets, and sliding tracks all need to be properly lubricated so the moving parts can move properly. If needed, moving parts should be re-lubricated or replaced if they're too worn.
- Tripping hazards: Tripping hazards can pop up in playgrounds overnight. Whether it's a tree root, a chipped sidewalk, or pathway material that's starting to come up, tripping hazards are dangerous and need to be taken care of. During regular inspections, any tripping hazards that are noticed should be blocked off if they can't be taken care of right away to avoid kids getting hurt on them.
- Warped wood or plastic: Playground equipment is generally made of wood or plastic, both of which can become warped over time. Whether it's due to the environment or direct damage, warped or deteriorating playground materials need to be fixed. If any playground equipment, like climbers, slides, or rock climbing walls, begin to look warped, make sure they get the necessary repairs.
Playground equipment should be in perfect condition before any kids play on it. So use this list as a guide to ensuring everything on the playground is in the condition it should be.