Prioritising play at school

After a year of children being in and out of school, and lockdowns restricting sports and outdoor activities, we discuss the advice to 'let children play' for their mental health. Mental health experts have urged that 'access to high quality play opportunities' is prioritised. The ongoing pandemic has meant that many children have gone without social interaction of their own age groups for long periods of time, and will have been very challenging for most.

Creating safe segmented play zones

Experts suggest that small groups of children should be allowed to play without social distancing, which could mean the introduction of segmented areas in school playgrounds. For children's play areas, fencing should be installed up to 1.2 metres high, and be made from high quality timber or steel.

  • Add colour - polyester powder coating is highly recommended over traditional painting, as it provides a robust, glossy finish that won't crack or chip. Choose brightly coloured designs to make the space fun and inviting for children. Ensure gates are coloured differently to the fencing for easy identification
  • Focus on fixings - nails that come loose are extremely hazardous anywhere, let alone in a children's play area. Tamper proof fixings that won't rust or come loose over time are just as important as the material, finish and design
  • Mind the gap - make sure the fencing conforms to BS EN 1176 regulations and the space between pales is a maximum of 100mm to prevent trap hazards
  • Avoid hospital visits

    Children's playgrounds can be dangerous places if they are not properly planned and installed by professionals, and according to RoSPA, account for 40,000 visits to hospital per year which could be avoided by following our advice. Installing well planned, safe playgrounds can help to prevent visits to A&E and relieve pressure on doctors. Common injuries from unsafe playgrounds include:

  • Trapped limbs in fences that do not conform to anti-trap regulations
  • Cuts and splinters due to rough sawn timber with excessive knots, and peeling paint on steel fences
  • Various injuries from falling onto a fence with an unsuitable top or which was positioned too close to play equipment
  • Trapped fingers in unsafe gate latches
  • Install while children are not present

    Our installers are all DBS checked to work in schools but it will cause less disruption and prevent unnecessary contact with more people if installation happens during school holidays. Furthermore, it will be a nice welcome for children to arrive at a school with a brand new look for their play area. For advice or to order playground fencing, contact us today.

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