Commercial insurer, NFU Mutual, reports it receives two claims a week involving children at commercial properties such as pub garden play areas.
With the bank holiday weekend on the horizon it might be time to take preventative action, so here are seven tips to help keep your outdoor areas child-friendly this summer.
1. Take a child's eye view of your premises
Look to make sure staff only areas are well signposted and secured and that winter maintenance tasks are completed and maintenance equipment put away.
2. Check for slip and trip hazards
Uneven paving and moss can be hazardous. Also, take a close look at all your outdoor furniture to make sure it's fit for the months ahead.
3. Are last year's signs still up?
Make sure safety information signs have not been damaged or disappeared over the winter, e.g "parents must supervise their children in this area".
4. Invest in a professional play inspector
It's vital that play equipment is properly maintained and inspected, so splash out and get it done professionally. The Register of Play Inspectors International will provide you with a list of people able to do it for you.
5. Do the groundwork on external suppliers
Hiring in a bouncy castle, for example? Make sure your checks are up to date and that you have copies of documents such as insurance and inspection certificates.
6. Remind your staff there'll be children running around
Brief staff on the need to be vigilant about children running around during food and drinks service; to pay particular attention to items which are damaged or faulty, and not to be afraid to intervene if a child's behaviour is unsafe or spoiling other people's enjoyment, particularly in play areas.
7. Make sure your first aid is up to date
Take a look both at your equipment and at the number, and provision, of trained staff.
NFU Mutual says the most common claims involve broken bones and cuts from falls from climbing frames, slides, trampolines, bouncy castles, rides and monkey bars. Other claims have involved goal posts, planters, barbed wire, stages, other children and... llamas.
"The potential harm to a business at fault for an injured child is an obvious one, with reputation at risk and the potential for a claim for compensation alongside the upset of the situation," said the NFU's Darren Seward.
"It's not just injuries that businesses should consider but also the potential damage to private property. We've even seen cases of boards and gazebo's taking flight and damaging guests' cars, so great care and thought needs to be taken into account when prepping and mitigating risk for any event."