A New Child’s Play – Plastic Playground Equipment
Decades back we used to play on playground equipment built of wood or iron. But today the hygienic issues have made manufacturers build this equipment out of plastic. Compared to wood and other metal equipment, plastic playground equipment is durable and requires low maintenance. But you should choose such equipment keeping some factors in mind to ensure safety of your child.
Parents are no longer worried about the fact that their children choose outdoor playground equipment to enjoy their recreational activity. A few decades back this playground equipment was usually built with either metal or wood. Metal gets easily heated up in the sun to cause burns and the wooden equipment, on the other hand, get splinters all over in due course. Today, issues relating to health and hygiene have triggered a great transformation in the way the playground equipment is constructed. Different manufactures have come up with their plastic equipment devoid of the disadvantages of the wooden and metal equipment.
Plastic used in producing playground equipment is rotationally molded, ultraviolet light stabilized polyethylene plastic. A category known as Recycled Structural Plastic (RSP) is now widely used by manufactures to build this equipment. This plastic playground equipment are quite durable and are available in a wide range of colors which makes them look lucrative to the children. The main advantage of this plastic equipment is that they have a smooth surface unlike the rough surfaces of the wooden equipment. Moreover unlike iron or other metal, plastic takes time to get heated up, causing fewer burns.
Plastic has added advantage to wood and other materials which makes them safer for children. To mention a few of these advantages:
* Plastic unlike any other material resists moisture, insects, and bacteria.
* Plastic can be molded into a smooth surface containing negative splinters.
* Plastic doesn’t corrodes like other metals, hence requires no preservatives, sealants or paint.
* Plastic can be molded into any shape and size to give the equipments an attractive look.
* Plastic equipment is easy to maintain unlike wood or metals.
There are several factors which should be taken care of in ensuring the safety of the plastic playground equipment. The elements that should be properly checked are:
* Rounded Corner – You should make sure that the play equipment you are about to purchase has smooth and rounded corners. Sharp corners can cause cuts or bruises onto the skin of your kids. Sometimes the cloth of your little ones can get stuck to these sharp corners resulting in some fatal accident or injury.
* Unsafe openings – Some play equipment have a dangerous opening of about 3 to 9 inches, which make them accident prone for kids as their head or any other body part may get stuck in those openings. You should choose the playground equipment keeping in view this issue.
* Joints – Exposed joints between moving parts can cause injuries to the tiny fingers of your kids as they easily get stuck between the joints. So you should choose equipment with less exposed joints.
* Hooks – ‘S’ shaped hooks are mainly found in swings. While purchasing the equipment you should make sure that the hooks are properly bent and out of the reach of the children. Hooks are far more dangerous as they can lead to entrapment and strangulation.
* Nuts & Bolts – While installing the play equipment you should make sure that the nuts and bolts used for connecting the different parts don’t remain bulged out to cause accidents.
* Structural strength – Besides being hardy, plastics don’t have an age limit and weight limit. But some manufactures in order to provide maximum features at lower price, supply weak plastic equipment with limited weight carrying capacity. So you should inspect the equipment before purchasing it.
From the above discussion it is quite clear that choosing plastic playground equipment is not an easy task as it involves the question of your child’s safety. You should choose wisely as purchasing a cheap playground equipment may cost your child his life. There are several manufactures who are providing plastic playground equipment with a five-year, or more, guarantee against deterioration or breakage.