Playgrounds are a popular place for children to engage in outdoor activities and socialize with their peers. However, playground equipment can also pose potential risks to children, particularly when it comes to entrapment. Entrapment occurs when a child's body part, clothing, or accessory becomes stuck or trapped in the playground equipment, leading to injury or even death.
To address this issue, playground entrapment probes have been developed to assess and improve playground safety. These probes are designed to test for entrapment hazards in playground equipment and identify potential risks to children. Here's a closer look at playground entrapment probes and their importance in playground safety.
What are playground entrapment probes?
Playground entrapment probes are a set of tools used to measure the size of openings and gaps in playground equipment. They are typically used to determine whether a child's head, neck, or limb could become stuck in any part of the equipment, which can cause entrapment.
The probes come in a range of sizes and shapes, and they are designed to simulate different body parts of children. For example, there are probes that simulate a child's head, arm, and leg sizes. These probes are used to measure the openings and gaps in playground equipment, such as slides, tunnels, and climbing structures, to ensure they do not pose a risk of entrapment.
Why are playground entrapment probes important?
Playgrounds are required to meet safety standards set NZS5828:2015 / EN1176. These standards include guidelines for entrapment hazards in playground equipment. Playground entrapment probes are essential in ensuring that playground equipment meets these safety standards. By identifying potential entrapment hazards, playgrounds can be modified or replaced to ensure the safety of children. This can prevent injuries and even save lives.
In addition to the safety benefits, using playground entrapment probes can also help protect playground owners and operators from liability. If a child is injured due to entrapment in a playground, the owner or operator could be held liable for damages. By regularly testing for entrapment hazards, playground owners and operators can demonstrate due diligence in maintaining a safe environment for children.
During a Playsafe inspection, our inspectors use a variety of probe templates that represent different parts of a child's body.
You can also purchase Playsafe Entrapment EN1176 Probes here: