(A) The home shall provide outdoor play each day in suitable weather for any toddler, preschool, and school child in attendance four or more consecutive daylight hours. There shall be a written policy followed by the home which lists limitations placed on outdoor play due to weather or safety issues. Considerations may include temperature, humidity, wind chill, ozone levels, pollen count, lightning, rain or ice. This plan shall provide for indoor large muscle play.
(B) The provider shall watch for potential hazards while observing children and shall actively supervise to prevent injury. The use of trampolines by children who are in care shall not be permitted.
(C) The home shall have onsite or safely accessible, a safe, sanitary outdoor play space free of hazardous conditions which shall:
(1) Provide at least sixty square feet of usable space per child using the area at one time.
(2) Be located away from traffic or protected from traffic by a fence in good repair with functioning gates or natural barrier. The natural barrier shall assure that children are not able to leave the outdoor play area unsupervised and shall assure that any hazards from the outside cannot enter the outdoor play area without the provider being aware of them.
(3) Be protected from animals.
(4) Provide access to bathroom facilities and drinking water during play times.
(5) Provide for storage of accumulated trash, rubbish and garbage outside of the play area.
(6) Be maintained free of foreign objects and rubbish during times children are outside playing.
(7) Provide a shaded area as needed. The shade may be naturally occurring from trees, building, or overhangs. Providers may also install lawn umbrellas that are securely anchored or other facilities that provide shade in a safe manner. Shade must be accessible for at least fifty per cent of the children playing outside at any one time.
(D) If an onsite play area is not available a provider may use an off site play area for daily use when it is determined, upon inspection by the provider and the county department of job and family services (CDJFS), that the area and its accessibility is safe. An off site play area approved for regular use shall meet the same requirements as the onsite play areas listed in this rule.
(E) Outdoor equipment, whether stationary or portable, shall be safe and designed to meet the developmental needs of all of the age groups of children using the space.
(1) Equipment such as, but not limited to, climbing gyms, swings, slides shall:
(a) Be placed out of the path of the area's main traffic pattern.
(b) Be anchored or stable and have all parts in good working order and securely fastened.
(c) Have all climbing ropes anchored at both ends and not capable of looping back on themselves creating a loop with an interior perimeter of five inches or greater.
(d) Have all S hooks closed so that there is no gap greater than .04 inch or the thickness of a dime.
(e) Be free of rust, cracks, holes, splinters, sharp points or edges, chipped or peeling paint, lead hazards, protruding bolts, or tripping hazards.
(f) Have no openings that are greater than three and one half inches, but less than nine inches to avoid entrapment of the head or other body parts.
(g) Have protective barriers on platforms that are thirty inches high or over.
(h) Be assembled, installed, and utilized according to manufacturers' guidelines.
(F) Outdoor play equipment designated for climbing, swings, teeter-totters and slides shall have a fall zone of protective resilient material on the ground under and around the equipment. The material shall include, but not limited to, washed pea gravel, mulch, sand, wood chips, or synthetic material such as rubber mats or tiles manufactured for this purpose. Equipment shall not be placed over concrete, asphalt, blacktop, dirt, rocks, or any other hard surface. Synthetic surfaces shall follow manufacturer's guidelines for depth.
(G) The home shall not use outdoor porches above the first floor as play areas, unless the porches are fully enclosed and structurally sound.
(H) Sandboxes shall be covered with a lid or other covering when they are not in use.
(I) Bodies of water, other than water tables and water designed for children to play only with their hands in, shall be separated from the play area by a fence or other physical barrier that prevents children from accessing the water. Wading pools may be accessible to the children only when the provider is closely supervising the children and in the immediate area of the pool.
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/30/2007 and 03/31/2013
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5104.011
Rule Amplifies: 5104.011
Prior Effective Dates: 4/1/82, 5/20/83, 9/1/86, 9/25/86, 5/1/89, 10/15/96, 10/1/97 (Emer.), 12/30/97, 4/1/03