Of course, safety is always a key consideration when you’re weighing the options for installing a piece of play equipment in your local play space.
We get it. Keeping kids safe while they’re out being active and having fun is what it’s all about.
Play Australia wholeheartedly supports giving children more opportunity to play outdoors where they can learn new skills and engage in self-directed activities. It’s these activities that prepare them for a well-balanced, independent adulthood.
And a little risk-taking is part of the picture as kids explore and experiment while they play.
In their report, ‘Planning for Safe Outdoor Play in Children’s Services’, Play Australia explains: “Children need play environments that encourage some risk taking and that help children to develop self-managed behaviour.”
Another report from KidSafe WA considers how playgrounds should be a well-considered balance between risk and safety, and the health benefits of outdoor play. These benefits include the development of physical skills such as strength, coordination and balance, as well as cognitive and emotional skills.
And that’s why Parkitect designs their Modular Pumptracks with both safety and enjoyment in mind.
Parkitect’s Modular Pumptrack design naturally encourages learning – in safety
Well-designed pump tracks are engineered and built to support riders to learn important skills in a safe environment.
Their design should use helpful features that allow kids and adults of all skill levels to enjoy them, without fear of injury. These include:
- Low to the ground: All riding surfaces and all edges should be low to the ground, so riders are not at risk of falling from a high point. The highest point of a Modular Pumptrack from the ground to top of a berm is 980mm and from ground to the top of bump is 470mm. With the concrete version, the track is integrated into the landscape, so the risk of falling from a high point is eliminated.
- Rounded edges, gentle embankments, rollout zones and no rocks: Including design features that help reduce injuries, such as rounded edges and gentle embankments are a start. Pump tracks that are built using perfect geometry which guarantees a safe riding flow, also make a difference to rider safety.
- A traffic-free learning space: Pump tracks are located away from traffic, making them a safer space to develop riding skills.
- Surrounded by a safety zone: The placement of each Parkitect track allows for a 2-metre safety zone on both sides, so riders are a safe distance from trees and other nearby infrastructure
Pump tracks help to build rider skills and confidence
The beauty of learning to ride on a pump track not only lies in the safety of avoiding on-road traffic. It’s also an excellent place for young, inexperienced riders to gain confidence on their chosen set of wheels, whether that’s a balance bike, BMX, mountain bike, scooter, skateboard, or roller skates.
Honing their skills on a pump track means that riders can learn to move at their own pace. And as they become more confident and pick-up speed, the track becomes more challenging to ride.
Whether they’re on a bike, scooter or skateboard, this design intrinsically builds their skills. It enables riders to expand their “comfort zone” while safely navigating the “learning zone” on the pump track.
Without getting too nerdy, in psychological development terms, this is called ‘zones of proximal development’. Pump tracks allow riders to safely explore new boundaries within the learning zone.
Building and learning these handling skills on a pump track prepares riders to more safely manoeuvre their equipment in hazardous conditions. Or, when faced with unexpected obstacles that could potentially push them into the “Panic Zone”, riders feel ready for the challenge.
8 commonsense tips for avoiding injury on a pump track
Most injuries that occur on a pump track are light abrasions and scratches.
Parkitect have developed a proprietary anti-slip product which is used on all of their Modular Pumptrack types, including composite, concrete and fibreglass. It’s unique and unsurpassed in the world of pump track copy cats!
The good news is this same material is non-reactive and non-toxic and less likely to hurt than asphalt. As with any other recreational activity, taking a commonsense approach will avoid most injuries associated with riding a pump track.
- Always wear a helmet – it’s the most basic protection for any rider and wearing a helmet is a good habit to get into before taking their wheels on the road.
- Use other safety gear, such as elbow and knee pads are also a great idea.
- Users should only ride within their abilities, always in control, able to stop at any time.
- 3 or more wheel vehicles such as karts, wagons, tricycles, bikes with training-wheels, strollers should not be allowed on a pump track.
- If there is more than one rider on the track, all riders should ride in the same direction. Riders should maintain a safe distance between themselves to prevent collisions.
- Parents and carers should always supervise their kids, especially in the case of young children.
- Riders should avoid riding on a pump track if it is incomplete or closed, in adverse weather, when lighting is poor, or if the riding surface is damaged.
- Owners and operators should visibly post the operating rules, safety signs and warnings in accordance with local laws and regulations. It’s a good idea to post a local phone number where users can report hazards or damage.
Playing safe – Parkitect Modular Pumptracks are certified for safety
There’s no doubt that community awareness of safety has increased in recent years. Owners and managers of a public space need to manage their risk and make sure the play equipment they provide for their communities is safe.
So, if you’re planning on installing a pump track in your neighbourhood, community park, holiday park, school grounds, or for a special event, it’s important you understand what your liability is.
Pump tracks, like all play equipment located in public spaces, need to comply with the relevant provisions of Australia’s safety standards.
Parkitect modules are pre-engineered, designed and certified to guarantee the perfect riding geometry for a superior pump track experience. The Modular Pumptrack system is certified to Australian Standard AS EN 14974:2021.
Designed and manufactured in Europe, Parkitect pump tracks have also been issued with a safety certificate by TÜV, an internationally established leader in technical product safety and certification.
“This certification confirms that all the modules dispatched from our factory conform to the established standards for safety in wheeled sports facilities.’ says Shaun Leicester, Founder and Managing Director of Parkitect Australia. “We’re confident that our tracks are amongst the safest on the market. When people buy a Parkitect Modular Pumptrack, they’re getting a quality pump track that will remain safe throughout its lifetime.”
To talk about why the Modular Pumptrack system is a great solution for a fun, safe playspace in your local community call Shaun at Parkitect Australia on 0411 423 773 or send him an email: firstname.lastname@example.org