Checking School Playgrounds for Safety - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Checking School Playgrounds for Safety

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

SMYRNA, Del.- The playground can be a fun and exciting place for a child, but it can also be dangerous.

As students at Smyrna Elementary School head to their favorite spot on the playground, chief custodian Gary Cain said safety is his number one priority.

"Say this (sliding board) got cracked somehow, because it will happen. It can get cracked. Then we have to have the playground company come in and replace a section of it," Cain said.

Cain not only does visual inspections, but also repairs little things as needed.

Staff at Smyrna Elementary say one of the ways they can make sure kids stay safe on the playground is by checking railings to make sure they are sturdy. Cain said he also checks the screws on poles that hold equipment in place, to make sure they are tight.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year in the U.S. more than 200,000 kids ages 14 and younger are treated in emergency rooms for playground-related injuries.

Those injuries range from strangulation to falls.

Smyrna School District Superintendent Deborah Wicks said there are six playgrounds at area schools - and teachers monitor kids on the equipment.

"Each year they are checked by someone from the insurance company who has a broad view of what should be in a playground and how much distance the swings should have when children are swinging on them," Wicks said.

Wicks also says the district has a good safety record for playgrounds.

"That's because we continually supervise them and we continually update them," Wicks said.

According to the CDC, the type of surface on a playground is also important to help prevent injuries.

Wicks said Clayton Intermediate School has a new rubberized surface.

Other playgrounds in the district have specialized mulch so that handicapped children can also enjoy them. 

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