The playground Merry-Go-Round is a favorite of children around the world. The merry-go-round stimulates cooperative play and creates the fun sensation children often equate with carnival rides. Since the advent of the Consumer Product Safety Commission Guidelines for Playground Safety, the merry-go-round has evolved over the years to incorporate safety and functionality. In the past, merry-go-rounds could be found in many sizes made from materials such as wood and steel. Today, one is more likely to find steel as the material of choice with sizes ranging from 6' to 10' in diameter.
As part of the nation's movement to decrease playground related accidents, the merry-go-round has incorporated several basic standards to improve safety. When selecting a merry-go-round for your playground, ensure your product is no less than 9" above the surface. Additionally, the CPSC recommends that the speed of the merry-go-round not exceed 13 ft/sec. To limit excessive speed and to maintain the recommendation of CPSC guidelines, many manufacturers employee the use of a speed governor. The speed governor ensures the speed is restricted to within the recommended parameters. Handrails are also an important safety feature and will keep children from walking laterally while the unit is spinning and of course, provide a stationary post for grip.
Unique to the market, the VisionMasters Tea Cup merry-go-round provides an amusement park ride for the playground environment. The Tea Cup also encourages children to sit down while the ride is in motion. The middle spinning disc promotes cooperative play and provides a physical challenge as children employ upper body muscles to set the unit in motion. Because of this design, the Tea Cup merry-go-round will usually ride slower than traditional merry-go-rounds. To ensure CPSC speed guidelines, the Tea Cup merry-go-round features a speed governor.
The diameter of the merry-go-round will dictate the number of children it can accommodate. The 6' disc will allow 8 children, the 8' disc 12 children, and the 10' as many as 16 children. The use zone of the merry-go-round is calculated by adding 12' feet to the product's diameter. The use zone is the area that immediately surrounds the product that must remain free of objects. This zone is maintained as an additional safety measure and is recommended by the CPSC.
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