Health Hazards of Gym Playgrounds

Dangerous elements that could cause serious injury to a child, or death, must be repaired immediately.

Here are some examples:

Risk of strangulation. There is a risk of strangulation when cords or loose clothing can get caught or entangled, causing strangulation. The top slides and fire poles, and any piece of mobile equipment (swings, carousels) are subject to a thorough inspection to detect any risk of jamming with a cord, a scarf or a garment worn on any neck. It must be determined in consultation with the manufacturer of the equipment, it is possible to make safe changes to eliminate danger. Since the early 1980s, almost all deaths of children on playgrounds are associated with strangulation.

Inadequate coating on the hardware installed in height. Safe coatings help protect children in the event of a fall. Falls on hard surfaces can cause serious injuries, such as bone fractures, head injuries and injuries to internal organs. Suitable coatings, relatively inexpensive, are essential to ensure the safety of a playground. Most injuries occur on playgrounds are associated with falls.

Since 2003, the CSA standard requires all types of coatings playgrounds undergo “crash tests” to determine their capacity to absorb shocks, using a technical tool such that a triaxial accelerometer. The recommended depth for different types of furniture coating (eg, sand, fine gravel and mulch), presented in the 1998 edition, are no longer part of the current CSA standard. However, it is important to know that the furniture coating must be installed at a minimum depth of 15-30 cm (6-12 inches).

The coatings harden over time and with repeated use. We must test every year to make sure they absorb shock properly. We must drop the instrument used in the context of testing the highest which a child would likely fall (eg area, older children can climb to the top of the railings). In the most recent issue of the CSA standard (2007) edition, it was the test point for a safe drop height up guardrails and barriers, so as to ensure that even when children climb to -dessus platforms of the equipment, guardrails and barriers, the coating can absorb loss and reduce the risk of serious injury.

Jamming of the head and neck. This is space on the playgrounds, which are large enough to let the body of a toddler, but small enough to wedge his head. As toddlers and preschoolers have a large head relative to body size, this is a serious danger. The main areas to be inspected are the space between the steps, the spaces in the horizontal rails, and the spaces between the platforms of different heights. Safe openings are either less than 9 cm (3.5 inches) or greater than 22.5 cm (9 inches). Unsafe openings can be easily changed in the short term, for example by installing against-steps.

Safety concerns about the pressure treated wood with chromated copper arsenate (CCA). Health Canada has developed a fact sheet on the treated with chromated copper arsenate wood.

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