As summer vacation approaches, children will soon abandon school playgrounds for backyard play sets. To help keep kids safe, inspect your play set using this checklist from The National Safety Council:
1. Surfaces around playground equipment should be filled with at least 12 in. of loose fill, such as wood chips, mulch, sand or pea gravel.
2. Most stationary equipment should have at least a 6-ft. use zone in all directions.
3. Any openings that can trap children (in guardrails or between ladder rungs) should be less than 3-1/2 in. or more than 9 in. apart.
4. Guardrails should surround all elevated platforms and should be at least 29 in. high for preschool-age children and 38 in. high for school-age children.
5. There should be no exposed concrete footings, tree roots or rocks that could trip children.
6. Sharp edges and dangerous hardware, such as open "S" hooks or protruding bolts, must be eliminated.
7. Children should play only on age-appropriate equipment.
8. Playgrounds should be maintained regularly and problems remedied as they occur.
9. Children should not wear clothing with hoods or drawstrings that could get caught on equipment.
10. Children should be supervised at all times.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF MAUFACTURERS
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