According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, “Each year, more than 200,000 children go to U.S. hospital emergency rooms with injuries associated with playground equipment. Most injuries occur when a child falls from the equipment onto the ground.” In this activity you will use a simple checklist to help make sure your local community or school playground is a safe place to play
To prepare for this Activity you need to:
Review the portion of the NCDCDEE Licensing Standards for Child Care Centers that address playgrounds.
Create your own simple checklist from the NCDCDEE Standards and the information
presented in the text book.
Print out and familiarize yourself with the “America’s Playgrounds Safety Report Card” and study the criteria explanations on page 485. You will be using this Report Card as part of your evaluation.
National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education. (2012). Caring for our children: National health and safety performance standards; Guidelines for early care and education programs. 3rd edition. Appendix EE: America’s Playgrounds Safety Report Card. Available from http://nrckids.org/CFOC3/PDFVersion/PDF_Color/CFOC3_EE.pdf
Find a local park, childcare center or school playground where young children play. You will not need permission for a public park but will need to schedule an appointment if you choose a center or school.
Take a tape measure with you so that you can make accurate measurements.
During the inspection:
Be a considerate guest and be careful not to offend your host with critical comments.
Evaluate the playground using your checklist.
Complete the Safety Report Card according to the criteria on the form.
After you have completed your evaluation:
You will need to write a report that includes the following:
Name, location and description of the playground that you choose to inspect.
Did the playground meet the criterion outlined on your checklist? Be specific about any problems that were found.
How did the playground score on the Safety Report Card? Be specific about any problems that were found.
How do you feel the playground facilitates children’s health by engaging them with the outdoor environment?
What would you recommend for an action plan to improve this playground?