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How to secure a children’s play area

Playtime Timber, plain Jakcure finish

Allowing children the freedom to play outside is essential to their development and there is mounting evidence to promote the health and social benefits of outdoor learning. Creating a dedicated safe play zone will also distract children away from more hazardous play opportunities.

There is no point investing time and money in identifying a range of child-friendly equipment and activities, if the play zone is rendered unsafe by the installation of inappropriate fencing and gates.

Choosing the correct fencing is paramount to creating a safe enclosure for children to play in.  The design of the fence needs to take into consideration a number of factors:

  • There should be adequate spacing between the pales to prevent the potential for entrapment of limbs
  • Gate hinges should be mounted to avoid further entrapment risks
  • Hinges should feature tamperproof screws and bolts
  • All gates must deliver a clearance of between 60 – 110 mm to reduce scope for a foot becoming trapped underneath the gate
  • There should be a minimum of 12 mm between the gate and the gate post, to prevent a child becoming caught in the gap
  • All gates should be presented in a different colour to help children / parents avoid any fear associated with not being able to identify the exit quickly 
  • All timber fences must be regularly checked to ensure there are no rotted pales / posts which can result in splintering of the wood, which presents a further risk to children

Spiked railings, barbed wire and fleur-de-lys split fence pales are totally unsuitable for a children’s play area.

All Jacksons Playtime Fencing is RoSPA approved, timber fencing is guaranteed against rot and insect attack for 25 years, and metal fencing is also supported by a 25-year service life guarantee.  Jacksons Playtime Fencing is compliant with BS EN 1176.

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