As early childhood professionals, safety is always our first priority.
When considering the safety of an outdoor environment, a natural playground or traditional playground structure should be checked regularly.
Below is a list of daily and monthly checks Green Space Learning recommends to keep your natural playground a safe place to play and meet Texas minimum standards 746.4751.
Be sure to keep record of playground checks for review by your licensing representative.
- Be sure the playground is free of broken glass, trash, or other debris.
- Check for and remove any broken equipment.
- Check for other hazards and remove them.
- Check for tripping hazards and remove or remedy the situation.
- Check for harmful insect habitats i.e., wasp nests.
- Check for and remove any animal droppings.
- Be sure the use zone around equipment is clear of debris, pull any weeds that grow in the area.
- Check fences for loose areas or gaps, particularly along the bottom where animals or children can dig.
- Be sure gate latches and locks work properly and can be easily opened by adults.
- Check for and remove any standing water.
- Be sure all chemicals for cleaning or landscape care are locked up and inaccessible to children.
- Be sure wood is free of rough spots.
- Check use zone loose-fill materials (mulch, pea gravel) to be sure its depth is a minimum of 9” for protection.
- Be sure any other fall or use zone surface that is unitary surfacing material (rubber matting or poured in place material) is in good repair, not worn out and able to absorb the shock of an unexpected fall.
- Be sure all equipment is securely anchored.
- Be sure all anchoring devices are below the level of the playing surface to prevent tripping.
- Check all railings, bars, and steps to be sure they are secure and not loose.
- Rake and fluff loose-fill materials in use zones around equipment to prevent packing of material.
- Maintain depth of 12” of loose material in fall and use zones.
- Be sure logs, boulders and other material used to define the use zone remain at 6’ from the exit of slides and 6’ surrounding climbing equipment on all sides.
- Check for missing parts and replace as needed.
- Be mindful of drainage and seek assistance to remedy chronic problems.
- Check for any entrapment or entanglement hazards where children’s clothing or bodies can get stuck.
- Check that all equipment and material parts are in working order, free from rough or sharp edges, rust, or anything else that prevents proper usage or can cause injury.
You can download this list here.
Safety Inspections and Playground Consultations
Our natural playgrounds team conducts consultations, and is certified by the National Recreation and Park Association to conduct Playground Safety Inspections. Schedule a consultation or safety inspection today with Green Space Learning to ensure a safe and engaging outdoor learning environment for the children in your care.
Schedule a consultation here.