16 Feb 2016
In This Issue
Beverley Boland, has resigned from Kidsafe NSW to take on new challenges.
During her 15 years as a Project Officer with the PAU, Bev was an integral part of the team, assisting in the development of programs and services to help make the Unit what it is today. The team at Kidsafe NSW, wish her the best, both professionally and personally and thank her for her dedication to “making a safer world for kids.”
Regional Visits- 2016
The Kidsafe NSW Playground Advisory Unit (PAU) schedules visits to regional NSW throughout the year.
The visits include a Playground Safety and Inspection Workshop and an opportunity for playground owners to engage the PAU for a Comprehensive Playground Inspection. Other services are available upon request. Scheduled visits for 2016:
Mudgee- Workshop- 23 March 2016
Inspection services- 22&24 March 2016
Armidale- Workshop- 11 May 2016
Inspection services- 10&13 May 2016
Far West NSW
Cobar- Workshop- 3 August 2016
Inspection services- 2&4 August 2016
Albury- Workshop- 10 August 2016
Inspection services- 9&11 August 2016
To register for a workshop, click here.
For more information or to request a visit to your region, contact the office on 02 9845 0893 or email SCHN-KIDSAFE@health.nsw.gov.au
Sydney Metropolitan Visits - 2016
A Sydney Metropolitan Workshop is scheduled to be held in Liverpool on 20 July 2016.
To register for the workshop, click here.
Inspection services for Sydney Metropolitan are available at all times.
To complete an Expression of Interest for a comprehensive playground inspection, click here. Alternatively, call the office on 02 9845-0893.
AS 4685 Part 0 and AS 4422 – What you need to know!
Safe and Creative Backyards for Family Day Care - Back by popular demand!
This one hour webinar provides family day care educators with information about backyard safety, risk and challenge, potential injury types, and novel ideas for backyard play by "thinking outside the box!"
Date: 16th March 2016
One Path – Benefits of a Labyrinth in a Playspace
Participants will be informed of the benefits of a labyrinth and how a labyrinth can enhance children’s learning and play. The one hour webinar will include learning how to draw a simple labyrinth with templates provided for more complex labyrinths and examples of strategies for consultation and involvement.
Date: 30th March 2016
2016 Kidsafe National Playspace Design Awards
Start preparing your entry for the 2016 Kidsafe National Playspace Design Awards! Entries open early April and can be submitted by service providers, design professionals, students, landscape contractors and playground providers/owners across Australia.
The award categories are:
Visit the website for more information.
To view the 2014 winning entries, click here.
Kidsafe is looking for suitably qualified judges – if you are interested, click here for information.
The Importance of a Playground Inspection
Regular playground safety inspections assist playground owners and operators to manage maintenance schedules, identify potential hazards and provide a playground that is as safe as practicable.
The Australian Standard recommends a regime for regular inspections. Failure to carry out regular inspections, and/or inadequate record keeping, may leave the playground owner accountable for any adverse incidents in the playground. What is important though, is that a regularly inspected and well maintained playground provides a fun place for children to play and family members can be reassured that the safety of their children is important to the playground owner.
There are 3 types of playground inspections:
Note: Check the information supplied by the equipment manufacturer/supplier regarding the recommended frequency of inspection..
PAU team members are qualified Level 3 Playground Inspectors having successfully completed nationally recognised training and attaining the following competencies:
For more information or to request a quote, contact the office on 02 9845 0893 or to send an email, click here
Standards Australia has two draft standards open for public comment:
To download the draft Standards and/or to make a comment visit the Standards Hub by clicking here.
Labyrinths in Playspaces
A labyrinth is a pathway, twisting and curving, that leads to the centre. It consists of a single meandering pathway which leads from the entrance to the centre, and back out again.
A labyrinth, unlike a maze, has no dead ends. There is only one path, and while it does have twists and turns, you can‘t get lost. With a labyrinth you don‘t have to think, or analyse, or solve a problem. In a labyrinth you just trust that the path will lead you to where you need to be.
Some benefits of labyrinths include stress reduction, quietening of the mind, enhanced feelings of well-being, improved concentration skills, development of problem-solving skills, improved creativity, and practice in conflict resolution, engage in spiritual reflection and are a lot of fun!
Labyrinths can be designed in many ways and with different materials as long as there is a single path to follow. The simple design of the classical labyrinth makes it easy to draw and thus can become the "blueprint" for building your own labyrinth.
Want to know more? Join Kay for a one hour webinar. Click here for details.
Risk in Playgrounds
Kidsafe is all about creating and promoting great places for children to play. This is so important especially with increasing community concern over our children’s’ health and wellbeing.
Kidsafe encourages kids to have fun by:
Kidsafe advocates the importance of providing challenging play opportunities for children of all ages in playgrounds. In recent times we have seen the introduction of playground equipment items which provide children the freedom to test their skills and develop their physical capabilities. The Playground Standard was updated in 2014 giving playground owners and designers greater flexibility in design and equipment choices to install challenging playgrounds.
A recent article by Jordan Baker in The Daily Telegraph (17/1/2016) titled Danger is coming back to Australian playgrounds with experts advocating risk in children’s play focused on risk and challenge in children’s playgrounds. The article provides some interesting insights into play and playgrounds. To read the article, click here.
The PAU is interested to hear your comments about:
NSW Graffiti Hotline
Graffiti vandalism is not just unsightly. It can also reduce people’s sense of safety by:
Graffiti vandalism is against the law and should be reported. The NSW Graffiti Hotline makes it easier for individuals and local communities to report graffiti in NSW. Anyone can report acts of graffiti vandalism against public assets, community facilities or private property. The Hotline refers reports of graffiti to the relevant government agency or authority for clean-up and removal.
To make a report, please call the NSW Graffiti Hotline on 1800 707 125 (free call) between 9:00am and 5:00pm Monday to Friday.
Protecting Children from Burns and Scalds in the Playground
In the Australian climate playground equipment and surfacing can heat up rapidly and retain heat. This can cause serious burns and scalds to skin upon contact.
At surface temperatures greater than 50ºC, tender young skin can be burned severely within seconds and may require surgery. Playground surfacing and equipment can exceed this temperature on dry, bright sunny days with temperatures in the high twenties.
Test the surfaces - metal slides, poles, guardrails, barriers and other playground equipment may pose burn/scald risks if the equipment is exposed to direct sunlight.
Playground operators may consider the installation of signage alerting visitors of potential hot surfaces and the recommendation to keep shoes on during play.
Indoor Play Centres
Playground equipment found in play centres and fast food restaurants can heat up when exposed to direct or indirect sunlight. Most centres require shoes to be removed during play however children have sustained scalds to feet when playing on indoor playground equipment. Operators are encouraged to include the installation of signage, monitor the temperature of surfaces and shade or protect equipment from exposure to sunlight.