Spring and summer are the perfect time to go out and enjoy the parks, especially the playgrounds! At playgrounds kids socialize, develop motor skills and burn off energy while having fun!
The importance of playgrounds is clear to the Park District, which means maintaining them as safe play environments is a priority. Park District employees inspect each of our playgrounds weekly while a CPSI (Certified Playground Safety Inspector) employee inspects the playgrounds once a month.
CPSI staff must take a class and pass an exam sponsored by the National Recreation and Park Association. This class focuses on recognizing and preventing potential playground hazards. “The main benefit of this certification is knowledge,” says Scott Dohnal, Facilities Specialist, CPSI at Elmhurst Park District. “Knowing through extensive training what to look for and how to make equipment safe, not only on the surface, what our patrons see, but behind.”
Weekly inspections by staff involve looking at general site conditions and obvious hazards. “If anything is noticed, that information is passed along to the CPSI who determines the degree of the hazard,” Dohnal says.
The monthly inspections focus on skeletal conditions like compliance issues that may have changed. These inspections might also lead to a piece of equipment being taken out of service for a time period.
If playground visitors ever notice an issue, they’re encouraged to contact the Park District, either by visiting our website's Contact Form or calling us directly at (630) 993-8915. “All of our playgrounds have a rules sign and a phone number,” Dohnal adds. “I would encourage patrons to call us. The more eyes on our playgrounds the better.”
The Natinal Program for Playground Safety also has a few tips to keep in mind while having fun on the playground:
- Take turns on the equipment
- Wear proper clothing (no open toed shoes, no draw strings, no bike helmets)
- Keep off wet equipment, which could be dangerous
- Do not use hard toys, rocks or sticks on the equipment
- Check for hot surfaces on playground equipment before allowing children to play on it