As the weather warms up, more families are enjoying area parks and playgrounds. WATE 6 On Your Side met with city and county park leaders to find out what they are doing to keep playgrounds safe.
Knox County Parks and Recreation oversees more than 25 playgrounds. Chuck James, the department’s deputy director, said certified playground inspectors visit every playground once a month and grounds crews check them every day.
“As they get older, things happen. Some of the rubber starts to crack and come off and show bare metal,” said James.
James said there are many things they look at from making sure no bolts or screws are loose on equipment to making sure the surface below is in good condition.
“On slides we look for cracks,” said James. “A lot of times they’ll crack. Like a drawstring on a sweatshirt, if there was a crack, it could get caught and strangle a young child.”
The City of Knoxville maintains more than 60 playgrounds. City leaders said those playgrounds are also inspected monthly and when crews are out mowing or picking up trash, they’ll also look for any problem areas.
“The bolts coming loose or coming up, or anything a child could get cut on, or a slide part is coming lose. Those are the biggest things,” said Chad Weth, City of Knoxville Public Service Director.
Sheryl Ely, director of Knoxville Parks and Rec said it takes a team of people, including parents to make this happen. She encourages parents to let them know of any issues.
“As long as we can work together, we can make this a very safe environment for all of our community,” said Ely.
To report a problem at a City of Knoxville playground or park, call 3-1-1. To report a problem at a Knox County park or playground call 865-215-6600.