THE IMPORTANCE OF OUTDOOR PLAY AREASby Play Poles Pty Ltd
Outdoor play is an important part of childhood development. Children learn to interact socially with other children and utilise their creativity through role play and imagination. They develop skills over physical challenges and learn to grow in their independence.
Playgrounds should offer a range of settings for play for children to cater for different ages and interests. Typical playgrounds include grassed areas, large and small hard surfaces, seating for individuals and small groups, sand play areas, shade and shelter, drinking water, quiet spaces as well as busy spaces.
Safety has become more important in the last few years and so community awareness of safety has increased. In playground safety it is important to pay attention to detail and it is imperative to follow the guidelines of the relevant Australian standards. Playgrounds should abide by the Australian Standard 4685-2014 to ensure they have the correct fall height, safety surfacing and access.
Falling onto a hard surface can cause injury in a playground. To avoid this you need to utilise impact absorbing surfaces such as rubber flooring, soft-fall or sand with loose materials being retained by a border. Playgrounds can use a variety of these materials for high use areas. When equipment reaches a fall height of above 600mm, a fall zone is required to ensure that if a fall does occur, the head of the child cannot touch anything on the way down.
Playground equipment should be checked regularly by a suitably qualified person and repairs made promptly. Look out for hazards such as sharp protrusions, splinters, holes, cracks, exposed irrigation, branches at eye level and deteriorating seats. Prompt repair ensures safety, restores play and can help to prevent further vandalism. With a focus on risk management and injury prevention it is possible to provide challenging and imaginative play areas.
Play Poles delivers safe, robust and economical playground equipment for private and public schools, pre-schools, childcare, kindergartens, council and resort developments throughout Australia. Play Poles can custom build playgrounds catering for individual project needs. Talk to the team at Play Poles for quality products and service delivery.
You can contact Play Poles via our website www.playpoles.com.au
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