THE PORTUGUESE consumer institute, together with the Associação para a Promoção da Segurança Infantil (APSI), the association for child safety promotion, has criticised local authorities for failing to carry out adequate safety checks at children’s playgrounds.
According to both organisations, inspections have not been carried out efficiently, while noting there have been a number of accidents in playgrounds in recent years, despite tougher safety laws introduced in 1997 governing recreational spaces.
According to the president of APSI, Helena Menezes, “the majority of local authorities fail to carry out inspections of private recreational spaces in hotels or restaurants.” She believes that the main reasons for the increase in the number of accidents in playgrounds are that rules and regulations are not complied with, sites receive inadequate maintenance and children wear inappropriate clothing and footwear. Despite this, there are no recorded deaths in playgrounds in Portugal.
The APSI now plans to offer workshops into recreational safety to councils and hotel groups.