Laundromats host families every day, and oftentimes those families have little kids. As a value-added service, many laundromat owners opt to offer activities to keep those children entertained and occupied while the wash is being done. Some self-service laundries choose to offer learning and reading areas, others may build a play area for kids, and some choose a combination of both. If you have decided that a children’s play area is right for your particular store, the key is to keep it safe. Here’s how to ensure safety in children’s play areas in laundromats:
- Carpeting with extra padding is a must on the floor. And if the area has walls, those too should be either padded or carpeted.
- The TV/VCR/DVD and any remote controls for the entertainment center should be well out of reach of the younger children. In addition, lights or any other power switches should be situated higher than young arms can reach.
- If you’re building a new store, electrical outlets can be positioned high enough to keep curious children safe. However, if you’re retrofitting a portion of an existing building into a play area, capping outlets and other potentially dangerous power sources is crucial.
- It’s wise to keep any type of vending machines away from this area. Keep it rather generic – and spotless. Your entire store should be clean, but the children’s area needs to be immaculate. After all, if a small child chokes on something he found on your floor, you’ve got trouble with a capital T.
- Along these same lines, any toys in your play area should be soft and relatively large. Age-appropriate books and big plastic building blocks are probably good; marbles and racing cars are bad. Let common sense prevail in this matter.
- If you have a television set, keep it tuned to appropriate programming, or simply play children’s movies.
- All seating should be kept in perfect repair and checked regularly. Also, this furniture should be bolted down, so children can’t hurt themselves or others with it, or drag it throughout the store.
- Furthermore, it is important to focus a video security camera on that area. If a child is injured or if there is a fight, you will have a tape of the incident to see exactly what happened, as well as to protect your business. Plus, video cameras in plain view are an excellent deterrent.
- Lastly, you should locate your play area where it is highly visible, preferably toward the front of your laundry. Parents, as well as your attendants, should be able to see the kids at all times. However, experts agree that the responsibility for watching the children in these areas rests squarely on the shoulders of the parents or adults accompanying the children.
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