Playground Safety: The Importance of Trained Supervisors

May 20, 2019

Playground Safety: The Importance of Trained Supervisors

There’s no denying the importance of playgrounds in the lives of children. Not only can playing in a playground help them to get enough exercise and stay physically healthy, it can also help to increase their overall development as well as increase their social skills via interaction with other children in their age group.

That being said, there is a distressingly prevalent issue in modern-day playgrounds: a lack of sufficient supervision. In fact, various reports over the years suggest that approximately 40% of all playground accidents in the world are the result of insufficient supervision. There are, of course, various factors that play into the matter, such as a lack of training for playground supervisors as well as a simple shortage of supervisors in general.

We will discuss both of these problems in more detail below. We hope you find the information helpful for understanding the importance of trained playground supervisors.

Problem #1: Not Enough Supervisors

In many schools, there will only be one or two teachers supervising an entire playground. And with hundreds of students playing at once, it’s easy to do the math and determine that no matter how well-intentioned these teachers may be there is simply no feasible way for them to supervise every single child on that playground. This means that there is a lack of sufficient supervision as a whole, and subsequently an increased risk for injury on the playground.

To fix this, more responsible adults must be available to supervise whenever large groups of children are playing on a playground. The most common recommendation for school environments in particular is to have at least two supervisors for every grade level, which is a notable step up from having just one or two supervisors for all grade levels.

Problem #2: Supervisors Do Not Receive Adequate Training

Another serious issue with modern day playgrounds and how they are run is that not only are there not enough supervisors in general, the supervisors that are present often have not received the proper training for how to supervise groups of children on a playground in order to ensure that they have a play experience that is both fun and safe.

Why do supervisors need special training to do their jobs, you ask? Well, contrary to what some people may think, supervising a children’s playground is actually a complex and complicated duty. Not only do the supervisors need to keep an eye on the children who are using the playground equipment (some varieties of which are more complicated than a simple set of swings or monkey bars), but a good playground supervisor must also keep a close eye on the interactions between the children themselves, to ensure that no bullying, fighting, or inappropriate behavior occurs.

There are in fact playground supervisor training courses available at select locations, and these courses will teach supervisors important information about maintaining safe conditions on a playground, as well as how to handle any potential problems that might arise.