The article discusses the importance of managing the risks in the recreation programs as well as the facilities and services. Every recreational agency should ensure that the protection of the employees and the participants remain the top priority while providing the recreational activities and services (White). Some of the significant benefits of proactive management include the reduced risk of injuries, death and the damages that could result from the recreational services. However, it is necessary to note that recreational activities involve a lot of risks to the participants. Therefore, the management has the responsibility of ensuring that they strategize on how to address the risks thus providing quality and safety recreational services that meet the public demand while simultaneously protecting the welfare of their employees.
As earlier acknowledge, recreational activities have a high risk of injury to the participants. However, there is a need to reduce the risk factors, and this is the responsibility of the recreational service providers (White). They have to analyze identifying the potential hazard conditions that can cause injuries and eliminating them to ensure the playground is safe for the participants and the employees. Some examples of hazards on the playground could be a piece of broken glass, the chemical in a swimming pool and uneven soccer field that could make the players lose balance and sustain injuries.
Moreover, the recreational providers also have the legal responsibilities of taking significant measure to prevent injuries and respond as efficient as possible when a person gets injured in the playground (White). If the recreational provider violates this duty, then the injured person can sue for negligence and seek compensation. It is also crucial that the management understand the standard of care depending on the comparison measures and policies from the regulatory agencies and the recreational agencies. Therefore, planning and training the employees on the benefits of complying with the written policies and procedures is essential to enhance safety playgrounds.
More Than 200,000
The article provides useful information concerning the number of children who end up in the emergency room every year as a result of playground injuries. The emergency physicians treat approximately, over, 200,000 children who have sustained injuries from the playgrounds. Out of these numbers, the physicians treat over 20,000 children for concussion and brain injury (ACEP, 2017). Some of the facts about these injuries are that most injuries relate to fractures, abrasions, and wounds. Almost 75% of the nonfatal injuries that result from the playground equipment are in public playgrounds such as day care centers and schools (ACEP, 2017). In general, there has been an increase in the number of children who visit emergency rooms due to injuries from playgrounds.
Fortunately, some measures can be implemented to prevent these injuries. These preventive measurements include close adult supervision of young and older children to ensure they adhere to the playground rules such not walking in the path of moving swings and not go to the restricted areas (ACEP, 2017). The management should also ensure the proper maintenance of the playground facilities and remove any item that could cause injury to the children. They should also ensure that the installed equipment is age appropriate to eliminate the possibility of young children being injured by equipment used by older children. For instance, the school administration should separate children’s playground sections by categorizing them in grade groups.
It is significantly important to ensure that children do not play in overcrowded playgrounds. Parents should allow their children to play in large playgrounds and monitor their movements as well as respond immediately in case of injury (ACEP, 2017). Children should also not wear clothes with strings while on playgrounds to reduce the risk of choking. Parents should take responsibility in teaching their children the safety rules such as not running around or pushing other children, and not climbing a slide but instead use the ladder for safety purposes.
The author acknowledges the safety experts and park manager’s report that the causes for injuries in the playground result from fall falling on the playground surface. The good news is that there are prevention measures for these injuries. The management should design playgrounds with the soft and thick ground to reduce the impact of fall and reduce the severe effects of injuries. The primary safety factor to consider for the playgrounds is a protective surface (Dandes, 2019). However, it is essential to note that there is no perfect surface for the playground since all the surface types have advantages and disadvantages. The installation groups thus recommend that the playground managers should consider the installation of surfaces that meet the needs of the chosen site and the users. The surfaces should also match the required standards of the IPEMA (Dandes, 2019). The Consumer Product Safety Commission also analyze the playground safety guidelines, therefore recommends the installation of safe surfaces such as using woodchips, rubber and gravel instead of using hard surface materials like sand, concrete, and asphalt.
The two types of playgrounds include loose fill which has sand, gravel, rubber chips, and wood fiber. The other surface type is bound material which has materials poured on the surfaces (Dandes, 2019). These surfaces are preventing injuries as loose fill prevents bone injuries. However, the disadvantage of this type of playground surface is that parents with wheelchairs find it challenging to navigate the playgroups. Wood fiber surfaces are cost-effective as they are suitable for large surface playgrounds, swings, and heights.
Natural wood materials have proven to be appealing for playground surfaces. The advantage with bound surfaces is that the users navigate the playground with ease and the park managers can quickly identify hazard objects that could cause injury to children. ADA also provides requirements for the playground surfaces and list concrete and asphalt as being unsafe for playground surfaces. Wood chips and shredded rubber are however considered safe surface materials.
ACEP (2017). More Than 200,000 Kids Treated in ERs Each Year for Playground-Related Injuries.
Dandes R. (2019). Recreation Management. Ideas and Solutions for Recreation, Sports and Fitness facilities. Ground Zero.
White, N. B. (n.d). Managing Risk in Recreation Programs, Facilities, and Services. California Planning Team.