Backyard Playgrounds Put to the Test - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/10/04

Backyard Playgrounds Put to the Test

Five year-old Daphni Leonard is perfecting the one armed climb and she settles down on the swings when she needs a rest. "I fell off the monkey bars. I was almost at the last monkey bar but I wasn't thinking and I dropped wrong." The result of that fall is a broken arm in a yellow cast, held by the blue sling. It's falls like these that are the most common playground injuries. "Your main concern is the fall area. That's where your worst injuries come from," says Kenny Kennedy.

Kenny Kennedy inspects public playgrounds for the City of Lubbock. But who's inspecting your backyard playground? We took Kenny and our cameras inside a Lubbock home to find out if the common backyard playground can pass the test.

"The first thing you want to do is look over the whole unit. Check and make sure you don't have any loose bolts. You want to check the swings and ropes for wear. If you leave them out all year long, they are going to deteriorate over time you want to make sure they're not frayed."

Does this backyard playground pass the test? Is it suffering from unsafe violations? These are the following recommendations Kenny makes. The entire playground set is loose and needs to be bolted or staked into the ground tighter. Keep the slide and area around the playground free of hazards.

Toys around the area could cause further injury to a child. The fall area could be softer. Kenny says, "If you're going to have grass, keep it watered, so that it's not such a hard impact." He says sand is a better substitute than grass to soften a child's fall.

Safety Solutions that could prevent an emergency like the one Daphni suffered from happening. Kenny says, "We want the kids to have fun but we want them to be safe with what they're doing." Kenny suggests inspecting your playground regularly. City parks are also inspected on a routine basis.

If you notice any equipment problems at a city park, you can report it to the Parks and Recreation Department by calling (806) 775-2687. For more playground safety tips, ( click here ).

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