The Playground Equipment Safety Questions Everyone Should Ask
- Is the Playground surface safe?
Falling is the number one cause of injuries on the playground. A child falling on a hard surface such as concrete or even grass can be seriously injured or even killed. The material underneath and around the playground should be resilient.
- Is there enough room underneath and around playground equipment?
The general rule is to allow a minimum use zone of six feet around playground equipment. Refer to the ASTM F-1487-98 Standard or the Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines for specific use zone requirements.
- Is there adequate space between the playground equipment?
Refer to the ASTM F-1487-98 Standard or the Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines for specific use zone requirements.
- Is the playground appropriate for the child?
Play activities should be designed for children with varying ages and abilities.
- Does the equipment put the child at risk from protruding objects?
Jutting pieces of hardware can cause serious injuries.
- Does the playground equipment present a strangulation risk?
There should be nothing that would snag pieces of clothing, jewelry, or strings.
- Is there anything that might cause a child to trip?
Surfaces should be smooth and level, with no tree stumps or roots.
- Is the playground well maintained?
Outdated playground equipment can be extremely dangerous. For example, during the 60's, 70's, and 80's, heavy metal animal swings were commonplace on playgrounds. This equipment can act as a lethal battering ram, potentially injuring children who walk in front of them.