Is Your Church Playground Safe?

If you have a playground or want to build a playground at your church, there are a few tips that ensure a safe environment for the children. It is ideal for any church to have an area that is well supervised and provides a space for children to learn and have active fun while parents are occupied with church activities or socializing.

Supervision for The Playground

A playground should have at least two supervisors. They should have training in what to do in an emergency and how to handle conflict within a group of children. Supervisors should also know about first aid and have a kit readily available. If you have volunteers manage the playground, they should have a schedule and training before their first shift.

Age Groups

Smaller children need to have access to play zones that accommodate their smaller sizes well. While older children need challenging playground equipment to explore. Separate the equipment based on kindergarten and younger vs. kindergarten to 6th grade. While it isn’t mandatory that children stay in a specific zone, they should do so if parents aren’t available to help younger children on equipment that is too much of a challenge. Post signs for the age groups near the playground equipment. You can also list the rules of the playground on the same signage.

Maintenance

It is important to inspect playground equipment and check it regularly for defects or wear.  Church insurance policies may have specifics with regards to your playground equipment and how to make sure it is safe for all children.

Regular Inspections for a Playground

  • Make sure that the area is clear of trash and other hazards.
  • Have extra loose-fill surfacing, so you can replace any surfacing that is displaced.
  • Check a wooden play area for rot and cracks in the wood.
  • Check a plastic playground for cracks and deterioration.
  • If you have a metal playground, check it for rust regularly.
  • Make sure all bolts are tight, and nothing in the play area is loose, cracked, or broken.

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