The benefits of children spending time at a playground cannot be underestimated. However, as a parent, you might have questions about the safety of community playgrounds. Furthermore, there is also the question about pursuing recovery of monetary damages if your child is injured due to dangerous conditions or negligent maintenance of the facility.
The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) developed safety standards covering equipment, installation, layout, surfacing, maintenance and more. Parents can obtain the safety guidelines and have a better idea of what to look out for before allowing their children to use public playgrounds.
The following are some of the safety standards with which owners, managers and supervisors of public playgrounds must comply:
- Sandboxes must be located away from other equipment and be filled with at least two centimetres of sand.
- All structures must have approved surfacing that extends at least 1.8 metres on all four sides.
- All playground surfaces must be maintained in a way that will handle falls as intended.
- All elevated equipment from which children can fall must have approved ground surfacing below.
- Platforms of elevated equipment must have protective barriers or guardrails.
- No protruding hardware, sharp edges or points may be present anywhere.
- Swings and slides must have additional open space around them.
- None of the equipment must pose risks of pieces of clothing or strings being caught.
- A schedule of periodic equipment testing must be established.
- Age-appropriateness labels must be present.
- The contact information of the playground manager must be posted by sign.
If your child suffers injuries while visiting a public playground in Ontario, you have every right to investigate the circumstances that led to the injury-causing incident. Your lawyer can help you to determine whether there are any areas that indicate negligence by the park owners or their agents. In that case, there might be grounds for filing a premises liability lawsuit in a civil court to pursue financial relief.