About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1503-1508
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain

LEVELS OF COMPLIANCE OF SAFETY STANDARDS WITHIN KINDERGARTEN PLAYGROUNDS IN A EUROPEAN COUNTRY

Introduction:
Playing is a universal activity included from 1959 in the Convention of the Rights of the Child and is also considered by the experts as a key part of the development of a child. Therefore, playgrounds, which have become regular places where children enjoy themselves, are going to play an essential role in their development as this will be the right place where dispute resolution and personal interaction activities, as well as other very important skills in life are carried out. All of these activities will help the children in their social, mental, physical, emotional and creative development.
In addition, in schools, the playground acquires an irreplaceable character in the first educational levels. We are referring to a space which will encourage the development of a variety of motor movements. Nevertheless, from the recent studies carried out world-wide regarding safety in the playgrounds, very alarming conclusions have been reported.

Background:
The purpose of this study was to identify and evaluate the level of compliance of kindergarten playgrounds with European Safety Standards EN-1176 and EN-1177 in Spain and to be able to contribute new information and recommendations to the school community.

Methods:
On-site observations were developed in a probability sample of kindergartens (n=50) in spring 2008 in Andalusia (Spain). 1700 photographs were taken, more than 1000 questions answered in the different questionnaires and 1500 measurements of the 281 elements.

Results:
Results showed the lack of maintenance and/or failing to conduct timely inspections. It was determined that in 92% of the playgrounds evaluated presented broken or rotten wood, and sharp edges in 86%. In 76% of the playgrounds there were sharp edges, pinch points, or playground debris that might injure a child. Slides (77%) and swings (100%) did not comply with European Safety Standards UNE-EN 1176 and UNE-EN 1177 which were of the obliged in Andalusia when the study was carried out by the Law 127 passed in June 5 2001 publish in BOJA, concerning security measures in infant playgrounds.
In the surroundings of the equipment was observed that 28 % of the evaluated centres they did not have a protective surface as a shock absorber, and 18 % had concrete covering the total area of the impact zone.

Conclusion:
These findings indicate that none of the playgrounds present in the Early Year educational centres evaluated met the minimal requirements establish by the European Regulations of Safety in play areas.

Recommendations:
Manufactures and Proprietors a like, should enforce the law concerning security matters in infant playgrounds. A programme of inspections and maintenance of playground should be drawn up and followed more regularly and with more severity. Children seek out opportunities for risk-taking and it is the responsibility of play provision to respond with exciting and stimulating environments that balance risks appropriately. Students, parents and teachers should be educated in relevant aspects concerning safety in playgrounds.
However, the appropriate balance between play benefits and safety on playgrounds will be, in interest of the children, the recommended aspect to evaluate in future studies. This is a piece of data that should be taken into consideration by the designers and play providers, so as not to reduce the creativity of the children or the benefits of play.
@InProceedings{HERNANDEZAPARICIO2009LEV,
author = {Hern{\'{a}}ndez Aparicio, E. and Fern{\'{a}}ndez Rodr{\'{i}}guez, E. and Merino Marb{\'{a}}n, R.},
title = {LEVELS OF COMPLIANCE OF SAFETY STANDARDS WITHIN KINDERGARTEN PLAYGROUNDS IN A EUROPEAN COUNTRY},
series = {3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-7578-6},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {9-11 March, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {1503-1508}}
TY - CONF
AU - E. Hernández Aparicio AU - E. Fernández Rodríguez AU - R. Merino Marbán
TI - LEVELS OF COMPLIANCE OF SAFETY STANDARDS WITHIN KINDERGARTEN PLAYGROUNDS IN A EUROPEAN COUNTRY
SN - 978-84-612-7578-6/2340-1079
PY - 2009
Y1 - 9-11 March, 2009
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2009 Proceedings
SP - 1503
EP - 1508
ER -
E. Hernández Aparicio, E. Fernández Rodríguez, R. Merino Marbán (2009) LEVELS OF COMPLIANCE OF SAFETY STANDARDS WITHIN KINDERGARTEN PLAYGROUNDS IN A EUROPEAN COUNTRY, INTED2009 Proceedings, pp. 1503-1508.
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