Safety in Recreational Areas and Playgrounds Today

Safety in Recreational Areas and Playgrounds Today

April 3, 2021 Off By Glespynorson

The large number of factors that influence the security of these urban areas causes some controversy and difficulty in managing said security, to which the appearance of COVID-19 is currently being added.

A key aspect to consider in recreational areas and playgrounds is their safety. Security must be treated from a multidisciplinary approach, considering from legislators, area managers, public administration, maintainers and inspectors, to designers of spaces and games and the users themselves.

Due to the number of factors and intervening parties that participate in this process, in many cases some controversy and difficulty is caused when it comes to managing said security. To all this, we currently have to add a new factor, which is the appearance of COVID-19.

The published parts of these regulations include both the general safety aspects applicable to all the elements present in the playing areas, as well as the specific aspects for each type of equipment. The difficulty of applying the rules will depend on the characteristics of the play area, being able to find from elements of little complexity, such as a 안전놀이터, to equipment with several slides or different types of swings.

Aspects such as equipment finishes, protection against the entrapment of different parts of the body, means of access, security areas, etc., are requirements that are included in part 1, EN 1176-1 “General safety requirements and methods of testing”. It also details all the information that the manufacturer / distributor must have, both about the different game equipment and the shock absorbing surface.

The application of this regulatory range has made an important contribution to improving the safety of the areas and has led to a greater awareness of safety in the playgrounds of all the parties involved.

However, safety does not depend exclusively on regulations, but there are many intervening agents who directly or indirectly participate in safety in a play area: from designers of the equipment, manufacturers of games, landscapers or architects who design the play area. game, up to the end user and the managers of the areas. This causes the need for updating and innovation in the face of new dangers or risks.

One case to highlight about a risk that was not previously contemplated in the regulations on children’s areas was the risk of sun exposure and ultraviolet radiation. In the latest publication of the EN 1176 standard, it is already stated in its introduction that such exposure during childhood can be a risk factor for skin cancer in adulthood. In a way, this raises awareness of new risks and new measures are implemented to minimize these dangers, such as the placement of awnings and parasols in public parks or school yards.

At present, a new risk for safety in general has appeared which also affects recreational and sports areas, as these are spaces where children spend a large part of their time and interact with each other, which is Covid-19. After the period of confinement in which we have been involved, the importance of outdoor activity has been demonstrated, of the need for children to play in the park, that young people and adults can go out to practice sports, and the need to relate to each other.

During the state of Alarm, one of the measures adopted, in the face of the spread of Covid-19, was the closure of the parks and with it the closure and sealing of the play areas as a measure of protection and prevention against the risk of contagion. This fact not only affected the playgrounds, but other recreational facilities such as outdoor physical training areas (Calisthenics, “street work out”), skateboarding tracks, sports areas for practicing soccer, basketball and all kinds of activities where an agglomeration and / or concentration of people could occur.

In the reopening of these spaces, there have not always been clear directives as to how to proceed during the lifting of restrictions and the use of the facilities of playing and sports areas. As it is a local issue, each responsible entity or body has taken different measures, such as disinfection of all elements before reopening, or the definitive closure of said areas to avoid concentration and contact between people who are not cohabiting. Other entities and administrations, however, have taken the opportunity to include special disinfection devices in their routine maintenance tasks, by daily disinfection of children’s areas.