Playground safety around the Valley

By: Sara Zendehnam Email
By: Sara Zendehnam Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. There's still a lot of fun in the sun left for kids to enjoy before winter creeps up on us, but whether it's at school or at the park there's always a chance your little ones could get hurt while playing.

Recent reports indicate monkey bars may be the most dangerous part of the playground, but playground equipment in the Grand Valley goes through more tests than some of the students who play on them do to make sure they're safe.

Mom of one Theresa J. keeps a watchful eye on her 21-month-old son Adrian. Although he's still too young to climb up and down the play equipment by himself Theresa said when he gets older she's confident he'll be protected because of how the playgrounds are taken care, "The rubbery floors and the wood chips I think they do a lot to make sure it's safe."

Grand Junction Parks and Recreation is in charge of maintaining the 32 parks around the city. While not all of them have playgrounds the ones that do go through daily visual inspections to make sure everything is in proper working order.

All of the equipment is either put on wood chips with engineered fibers that eliminate any sharp edges or have a rubber surface.

"We take safety very seriously because we're providing a service to our community and we gotta protect the little kids," Mike Vendegna, Parks Superintendent.

Parks and Rec isn't alone in trying to keep kids safe. While all 23 District 51 elementary schools have monkey bars, they all pass a certification process before the playgrounds are installed.

Nisley Elementary went through a big renovation two years ago to improve the safety of their structures. They got a $275,000 grant to re-do much of the play area.

Even with the best equipment accidents are inevitable and District 51 officials said it's a parents job to teach their kids playground etiquette..

"You want to air on the side of caution if you see your kid get in a dangerous situation you want to hopefully teach them so when they're on the playground by themselves they won't get back in those situations," Paul Cain, District 51 Athletic Director.

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