Author: Austin Stanfel
Playground equipment is made today in large sizes to accommodate more children than before. It is designed to be non-discriminate towards weight and age. While there may not be restrictive on the surface, for safety reasons, people must be attentive to someone being too old or too many children carrying a combined weight that could cause stress on a structure. Watching toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged children, adults are responsible for their safety because of the number of playground injuries that are too common. Statistically, an average of 200,000 children is hospitalized for injuries such as bruises, sprains, fractures, and even concussions. Tragically, a fraction of those results in fatalities. The majority of these injuries come from swings and ladders because they can fall off. To prevent accidents and injuries, have these restrictions in place for playground use.
First, is the weight, and part of this is related to obesity, which sounds unfair, but with the concern of overweight children, it has to be taken into account. One child heavier than others can make it a little dangerous for others. Hence, go to water parks, and you may see some slides feature weight requirements along with the height. In playgrounds, there aren’t any weight limits because of what they are built with and how effective each part gives stability to take on many children and weight combined. But adults must know when it looks like the structure could give in, and all construction is not full proof.
Next, there are age restrictions because it is easier than weight. Age on the playground is classified. For playgrounds, the games are from 0 to 14 years. They can split into three groups: toddlers, ages 1-2, preschoolers, ages 2-5 years, and school-age, ages 5-14 years. Apply the playground to what is appropriate for the group. Small things for toddlers, mid-size for preschoolers, and the big, tall playgrounds for the school-age. That includes those that are two stories tall (or even three stories with those unique playgrounds) and feature climbing and high slides. No way should a toddler or preschooler be on those.
The playground means freedom for the children to have fun, but it comes with rules and stipulations. Playgrounds are not necessarily universal because they are built for specific ages and can hold a certain amount of weight. Adults are the ones responsible for the safety of children, and they must know what age and weight appropriate for the entire set are. They are more likely to cause accidents and injuries than reckless play. The playground makers are aware of this and do list what the maximum weight load one portion can carry and what is the recommended age group. Even with the use of the most durable material that could carry much more weight today, parents and chaperones must make their judgment on when is it too much to have on.