Is your local playground safe?


Playgrounds and outdoor gyms nationwide are now welcoming children back. But the Register of Play Inspectors International warns parents and carers that not all playgrounds in England will be re-opening, following government guidance that legally requires them to have a valid COVID-19 risk assessment before doing so.

PRII’s Jon Dalton says: ‘After many months of closure this will be hugely disappointing to children, parents and carers. But if a playground is closed, adults and children shouldn’t attempt to access it.’ He says some smaller playground operators may not be aware of the COVID-19 risk assessment guidelines and he is calling for all them to ensure they have an up-to-date playground inspection before opening.

Risk assessment covers issues such as identifying the maximum number of users per playground, setting a time limit for users, limiting the number of users on a single item of playground equipment and requesting only one adult accompanying a child. The RPII has given the following guidance for families and also urges them to follow government advice:

  • If the playground is not yet officially opened, don’t attempt to use, or access the equipment or area. Talk to children about the possibility that it may not be open before you visit.
  • Don’t remove any temporary barriers to the playground, or plastic fencing, or unravel any swing seats or cables that may have been secured to keep them out of use.
  • Follow the current social distance guidelines when visiting and encourage your children to do the same.
  • If the playground is busy, consider coming back at a later time. Tell children this may have to happen before visiting.
  • Wash your hands, and your children’s hands, before and after visiting. Take hand sanitiser with you and consider taking a bottle of water in case of muddy fingers and knees. Ensure children are using hand sanitiser frequently.
  • Look out for signage / instructions provided from the playground owner / operator.
  • Follow all current government advice in addition to the above guidance.