Houston HOA Playground Recommendations
Your Houston HOA playground may be an important place for some small humans……and their moms and dads. Many parents chose a particular Houston homeowners association because of the neighborhood playground. It is important to recognize that when serving on a Houston HOA board of directors.
While the aesthetics of your neighborhood playground are important, the safety of it is as well. Talk with your Houston HOA management company to determine if your Houston HOA meets common safety standards. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says “The surfacing under and around playground equipment is one of the most important factors in reducing the likelihood of life-threat- ening head injuries. A fall onto a shock absorbing surface is less likely to cause a serious head injury than a fall onto a hard surface. However, some injuries from falls, including broken limbs, may occur no matter what playground surfacing material is used.”
Some Houston HOAs we have worked with have residential type equipment. This is a big mistake. I’ve been asked by a board before to get them quotes on residential playground equipment from Lowes or a similar type store. Residential equipment typically cannot handle the type of commerical use that HOA playgrounds get. If you are building or replacing a playground, ask your Houston HOA management company to get bids for commercial equipment. Also, do not put certain types of equipment on HOA property. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends the following equipment not be used on public playgrounds:
- Swinging gates
- Giant strides
- Climbing ropes that are not secured at both ends.
- Heavy metal swings (e.g., animal figures) – These are not recommended because their heavy rigid metal framework presents a risk of impact injury.
- Multiple occupancy swings – With the exception of tire swings, swings that are intended for more than one user are not recommended because their greater mass, as compared to single occupancy swings, presents a risk of impact injury.
- Rope swings – Free-swinging ropes that may fray or other- wise form a loop are not recommended because they pre- sent a potential strangulation hazard.
• Swinging dual exercise rings and trapeze bars – These are rings and trapeze bars on long chains that are generally considered to be items of athletic equipment and are not recommended for public playgrounds. NOTE: The recom- mendation against the use of exercise rings does not apply to overhead hanging rings such as those used in a ring trek or ring ladder.”
It is always best to consider not only the appearance of the playground so that it looks good in the neighborhood, but also the safety and age appropriateness of the equipment. Your Houston HOA manager can help guide you to companies that will provide expert advice.