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Gymnastic climbing frames/heights/safety mats - guidelines?

Discussion in 'Physical education' started by katman, May 1, 2011.


  1. http://www.afpe.org.uk/images/stories/mats_revisited1.doc
    Specific (ish) advice from the AFPE (formerly BAALPE).
    http://www.afpe.org.uk/images/stories/FAQs_-_October_2010.doc
    Point 26 on this document refers to mats.

    http://www.1st4sport.com/p-1059-1st4sportcom-pe_safe_practice.aspx This is the standard PE guidance book that we have in school for reference which will probably have further advice but it's seen as the good practice guide by most LAs and schools.

    We do not place mats below large equipment for children to jump onto. We actually don't have a crash mat in school at all. I place gymnastic mats below the large equipment (ropes, climbing frame) when children are working at height but they are told not to jump off at all. The mats are merely there to prevent serious head injury if an accidental fall occurs, but will not prevent a broken limb hence the instruction not to jump. With beams and benches where they are intended to jump off, a gymnastic mat is put next to it and appropriate landing technique is taught.

    I would recommend asking advice from your LA's PE specialists or H&S team - they should be able to tell you about your LA guidelines. I would think that if you aren't following either these or the AFPE guidance your school could be at risk of litigation if an injury occurs. You probably also need to get your PE Subject leader or head to do a risk assessment or do one yourself to evidence that you have thought about this and are controlling the risks appropriately, whatever you decide. It might need a whole school debate and discussion. However, having a written RA shows that you have thought about it and you have evidence of it.

    HTH
     
  2. stopwatch

    stopwatch Occasional commenter

    Thanks for your very detailed and helpful replies. They kind of confirmed what I believed to be the situation.
    To clarify I am at an overseas school so therefore no Local Authority as such to consult with.
    My main concern was the level of protection an ordinary gym mat would give for a fall from a climbing frame, hence my reason for putting thicker crash mats. I would have thought a broken limb from a fall onto a gym mat would also prompt litigation, particularly in the current 'lawyers r' us' culture.
    The children are doing jumping from other equipment too (benches, boxes, tables) onto thinner mats (aboout 3 - 4" thick). Limited height jumping from the frame didn't seem any less risky.
    I shall have a read through the info you sent.
    Thanks again.
     

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