Volume 16, Issue 3 (9-2019)                   ioh 2019, 16(3): 13-25 | Back to browse issues page

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beheshti M H, Hajizadeh R, Faghihnia Torshizi Y, Alami A, Samaei S E. Compliance of Children's Play Equipment in Urban Parks of Gonabad with National Safety Standards (Case Study). ioh. 2019; 16 (3) :13-25
URL: http://ioh.iums.ac.ir/article-1-2420-en.html
Mazandaran University of Medical , samaeiehsan89@gmail.com
Abstract:   (330 Views)
Background and aims: Parks are a place for children's play and activity, so making safety these environments that are somehow a social work environment is one of the requirements of environmental planning. Making safety these environments is one of the requirements of environmental planning. It will be necessary to provide quality and sustainable conditions for park playgrounds to improve the safety and health of children. This will also initially require proper physical conditions and the development of safety-based play equipment. Improving safety and improving the quality of equipment requires compliance with standards. Currently, no organization has the task of periodically reviewing the safety of children's play equipment. In general, the process of building and installing children's play equipment in public parks in cities is such that the standards for equipment’s are formulated and published by the Institute of Standards & Industrial Research of Iran and the manufacturers of this equipment are notified and manufacturers are required to design children's play equipment according to the most up-to-date standards. A standard certificate will be issued for this equipment after the manufacturer has complied with the requirements.
 Since the municipality is responsible for purchasing, installing and managing the parks, the municipality is required to purchase equipment that has a standard certificate. But because some of the children's play equipment was purchased at the time that there was no standard for that equipment, some of this equipment does not have any standard certification. In addition, some equipment is standard certified at the time of purchase, but is not valid at the present time. Given the importance of the cases mentioned and the subject of children's accidents, many economic and social issues are involved. Health promotion plans for this sensitive group and issues related to the safety of play equipment in the parks are among the important issues that should be addressed before accidents and adverse effects in children. Investigating and evaluating the safety status of the parks can improve the health and quality of life of the visitors and make them comfortable in utilizing the facilities of the parks. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate the compliance of child play equipment in public parks in Gonabad with safety standards and national standards.
 Methods: The present study is an applied study that was conducted by combining descriptive and surveying methods and utilizing experts and safety standards related to children's play equipment during fall and winter 2017 in Gonabad public parks. The study area was the public parks of Gonabad, where a number of children's playground equipment including slides, swing and Flip-flop were studied. In this research, the first and foremost question that has caught the researchers' minds is that "What features of each child's play equipment should be included to be recognized as safe?” and following this initial question, the research structure was formed. The first step in the process of implementation was to identify all the information assets in the area under investigation so that effective factors in the field of park equipment safety could be identified completely. At this stage, all national standards for the safety of children's playground equipment in the parks were collected, and all the safety aspects related to the safety of Slide ,Swing, Flip-flop (on the playgrounds in the parks) were extracted from the standards and a researcher-made checklist was developed that examines the standards for these equipment in various fields. Safety evaluation of slides, swing and Flip-flop were carried out according to the requirements of Institute of Standards & Industrial Research of Iran standards 6436-2, 6436-3 and 6436-6 respectively. The method of data collection was in field and surveying and after evaluation, all non-conformities were collected through observation and check list and their deviation was determined.
Results: Based on the results of the present study on   Swings, there were 11 cases of non-compliance with the standard requirements of 6436-2. In general, the distance between the hanging points contrasts with the standard requirements. The minimum horizontal distance between the two adjacent seats is not observed. The distance from the surface to the rock is less than the standard. The horizontal distance between the swing seat and the adjacent structure is not in accordance with the standard. The results of the slide evaluation showed that there were 25 cases of non-compliance with standard requirements of 6436-3. In 65% of the slides, the horizontal bar is not provided for open access and in 75% of the horizontal bar height is not standard. In 80% of the slides, the side height of the sliding guard is not 500 mm. In 60% of the slides, their starting section does not have a length of at least 350 mm. In 75% of them, the transition from the head section to the exit section is followed by a sudden gradient change. In 55% of the slides, the minimum length of the exit section is not in accordance with the standard. The results of the Flip-flop Assessment showed that there were generally 9 cases of non-compliance requirements. In general, the swing ground does not have a good impact absorption surface and back protection. Very low attenuation causes sudden suspicion. No pedestal was considered appropriate for any of the swabs examined. In all parks, the back of the seat has a curvature and is not rounded.
Conclusion: The present study showed that in all surveyed parks, there were various inconsistencies in children's play equipment (including Slide, Swing, Flip-flop) that did not comply with national standards. Accordingly, it is necessary for city managers, including small town managers, to consider national standards in the design of this equipment. In our country, urban design, in today's sense, does not have a long history, while designing children's playgrounds, especially for the age group of 5 to 12 years, has had less priority. So far, much research has been done in European and American societies to improve urban spaces and design a new generation of playgrounds for children to attend and various solutions have been proposed. But in Eastern societies, especially in our country, there has not been a comprehensive study focusing on children's play spaces, especially for children aged 5 to 12 years. And sometimes actions are taken with the delay of time and behind the experience of Western societies in the form of modernization and improvement plans. The results of evaluating the swings and slides of urban parks with national standards also indicate that there are various mismatches with relevant national standards in all parks. In all swings of all parks, the distance between the hanging points contrasts with the standard requirements of 6436-2. In some parks, the minimum horizontal distance between the two adjacent swing seats is not met, the swing distance from the ground floor is less than the standard, and the horizontal distance between the swing seat and the adjacent structure is not up to standard. Also the results of the slides evaluation showed that the horizontal bar was not provided for the open section, the height of the horizontal bar was not between 600 mm and 900 mm above the starting section, the lateral guard height of the sliding start section is not equal to 500 mm, their start section does not have a minimum length of 350 mm, the transition of the sliding section to the exit section is performed by abrupt change of slope and the minimum exit section length is not as standard. Accordingly, it is recommended to provide the necessary anthropometric data to design and manufacture ergonomically designed equipment for park safety while introducing integrated management of safety, health and environment, to introduce the game park equipment manufacturers in the country. It is also suggested that the relevant organizations and institutions strive to develop anthropometric and dimensional standards and provide the primary data that play an important role in the safe design of the playground equipment by properly interacting with research centers and the Institute of Standards & Industrial Research of Iran. Finally, the results of the present study emphasize the safety audit and enhancement of the safety level of children's play equipment and state the improvement of the safety level of children's play equipment as a necessity. The design of the slides as well as the modification of the playgrounds of children's playgrounds according to relevant standards is prioritized.
 
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Safety
Received: 2018/05/20 | Accepted: 2019/03/12 | Published: 2019/08/31

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