A great playground can make us all feel like a kid again, but to keep the actual kids safe, the adults need to pay attention to the details. Creating a play space for a community has its own set of challenges, especially since children of all ages and abilities will be using it.

“What’s a city planner in Salt Lake City to do to create a playground design that will help keep everyone safe while letting everyone have fun?.” 

 Public playground safety is regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and ASTM International. Being familiar with these standards is a foundation to start with before the design even begins. These include aspects like making sure equipment does not have hazards like sharp edges in it, that there no places a child can get entrapped, and trying to make sure children are protected from falls by design, and by a proper soft playground material. Also, the playground must meet the standards set by the American With Disabilities Act

CITY PLANNERS HAVE AN IMPORTANT JOB: They get to organize the places we live. They organize where we work, where we live, and where our children play. Following current safety standards and providing a safe place for our kids to play is an extremely important job. 

New Trends For Playgrounds

In the last several years, playground design has moved toward not just making structures that kids with challenges can use but designing a place where kids of all abilities can play together. These inclusive spaces let all the kids imagine, laugh, move, cooperate, socialize, and experience independence, all while keeping them safe and comfortable.

Over 200,000 children each year are sent to the hospital from accidents on playgrounds. The majority of those injuries are from falls. While creating a design that minimizes falls is an important component of playground safety, it is also important that the ground below is protective with soft playground material. Some of these include rubber mulch, artificial grass, play sand, and solid rubber.

Safer Materials For Playground Surfacing

Rubber mulch is popular because it absorbs more force than gravel or wood mulch, keeping little arms and legs and heads safer when falling. Additionally, it doesn’t degrade or absorb water. Planners will want to make sure any material used as a floor of a playground is non-toxic as well.

Playgrounds in Salt Lake City are more than just play equipment; they are an area for families and friends to gather and have fun. So, you should make sure you attend to other portions of the space too. For instance, are there trees planted to created shady areas? Is there a place for the grownups to sit where they can comfortably supervise the kids? Are there separate places for kids of different ages to play? And don’t forget the most important part of playground design: is it fun? Color, texture, and design that encourages safe risk taking are all components of fun.

Playground Maintenance

Finally, planners should budget accordingly for all the parts of a good playground, plus short and long-term maintenance for the whole area. The structure will have to be painted and inspected regularly and the rubber chips will have to be topped offed annually.

Playgrounds are wonderful community spaces. Good design and creative planning are keys to making sure your community’s is only a place of happiness and fun.

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