Playground

Meeting Notes Re: Safety of Slide in New Playground Area
Purpose: To address concerns raised by some parents about the safety of the slide on new playground equipment. FTB has several questions / talking points...
1. What is safety record of the equipment, have there been complaints from other communities where it has been installed?
2. Explore possible modifications to slide such as adding rails/sides, platform at top, or possibility of replacing slide with another apparatus
3. If representatives can provide information that demonstrates that children are not any more likely to be hurt on this equipment than on any other piece on the playground, how then can the city provide parents with the information they need to make safe choices for their children. FTB suggests:
a) some kind of demonstration of proper usage of the slide (for example, this slide has grips on the underside for children to use for balance) b) signage indicating that equipment was designed for children aged 5-12 years

Meeting Date: May 28, 2009
In Attendance:
Anne Ball - EA to Councillor Pantalone
Peter Leiss - Parks Supervisor
Dave Nosella - Project Supervisor for Trinity Playground upgrade
Representative from ABC, Playground Manufacturer
Patricia Arseneau - Fiends of Trinity Bellwoods (FTB)
Anna Hill - FTB
Scott Chandler - FTB

Notes/ Discussion

Safety Record
- Neither Peter Leiss nor the ABC rep has had any complaints about the slide in other communities.
- They DO want to hear about problems so that they can make improvements as needed in the future.
- ABC clarified that the slide is not a slide but a glider and should be used differently than a slide (stepping from top step, straddling legs around glider, grasping underneath).
- ABC rep provided information about the safety testing and rating

Modifications
- no products available with sides or platform, these would actually make the glider less safe and impede proper usage
- no money available to purchase a different attachment

Communication of Safety to Parents
- ABC to provide and affix stickers on play structure illustration proper slide use
- City to install sign indicate appropriate age use and stating playground requires high skill level and for parents to use their judgement as to whether their child's ability level
- Friends will post information on website regarding safety record as well as video demonstrating how to navigate the glider safely
- Dave Nosella also pointed out that the surfacing under playground is not safe in the winter as it loses its "bounce"

Long Term and Short Term Planning
FTB points out that repairs are needed on playground.
- sand on the upper playground needs to be turned as it is compacted and hard
- the wood benches which children crawl on is badly damaged and split
- have seen several injuries from "peddling" apparatus on upper playground
In long term
- best way to keep children who are not developmentally ready to use the older equipment safe is to keep them occupied elsewhere and we should create space (for example a small open-ended, creative play area with logs, water, wood houses...) to give parents choices depending on their child's ability and age.

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