Playground equipment is a type of purchase that seems simple, but actually isn't. If you're trying to shop around for modern playground equipment for an office or other space, take a look at some of these important issues that a lot of people miss. Ignoring these issues can leave you with a lot of headaches later.
Structural Integrity and Fasteners
Ask the playground equipment seller about installation—will the company come in and install the items for you? Look at how pieces are fastened to the floor or wall. Make sure everything is built to stand the test of time, so that equipment doesn't come dangerously unhinged later.
The Americans with Disabilities Act provides a wide range of accommodations and concessions for those with physical disabilities. That influences the purchase and design of things like walkways, seating and yes, playground equipment. Make sure that the items that you choose offer strategic features for mobility impaired visitors. Ignore this one -- and you just may have to go back and re-engineer the play space later, at considerable cost.
With indoor playground equipment, you won't have to worry about equipment rusting out or corroding—at least, not as much as you would if it were outside. But many buyers still choose durable plastic or other more easily maintained materials. One reason is that they are easier to sanitize. In a lot of cases, you want to be cleaning these items over time, to make sure they don't become a breeding ground for germs and bacteria.
Appropriate Age Levels
This is another one that's pretty subtle. In the old days, there wasn't as much design oriented towards specific age levels and abilities. But now, the best playground equipment, indoor and outdoor, is designed with specific age groups in mind. One excellent example is the range of height access that you can find on playground equipment. For the under-three crowd, height access is restricted to about 1 to 2 feet or less. That means there's much less of a chance of an infant or young toddler falling and hitting his or her head hard while parents aren't looking.
Another accommodation that playground equipment companies provide is some form of access for emergencies (both large and small). Parents need to be able to assist their little ones if they encounter any kind of trouble in the play space. Systems that are not accessible can quickly become problematic for parents and those responsible for maintaining safe play spaces.