View All Posts

Sep 13

Playground Safety

Posted on September 13, 2016 at 3:52 PM by Charlene Webster

Did you know...

The National Safety Council Offers Back to School Safety Tips

Playground Safety

Soft surface

Because nearly 80 percent of playground injuries are caused by falls to the ground, improper surfacing is the first thing parents should watch for when inspecting a playground. Wood chips, mulch, wood fibers, sand, pea gravel, shredded tires and rubber mats cushion falls well — better than those with grass or dirt surfaces. Avoid playgrounds with concrete surfaces, as they are too hard. The surface material should be at least 12 inches in depth and 6 feet around each piece of playground equipment.


Swings are the pieces of moving equipment that are most likely to cause injuries to children. Metal or wooden seats should be replaced with soft seats. Swings should be set far enough away from other equipment so that children won't be hit by a moving swing. Only two swings should be in each supporting framework, and they should be at least 24 inches apart. Full - bucket seats are recommended for younger children. Half - bucket seats are dangerous because babies and toddlers can slide out of them.

Smooth sliding

Slides should be well - anchored, have firm handrails and good traction on the steps. There should be no gaps between the slide and the platform, and teach children to sit before going down. Teach children to slide down rather than walk up the slide. Another great danger with slides occurs when drawstrings on children's clothes get caught at the top of the slide, so select play clothes without drawstrings or loose pieces that can get caught.

Safe seesaws and merry-go-rounds

Spring-loaded seesaws are best for young children. Avoid adjustable seesaws with chains because children can crush their hands under the chains. A traditional seesaw should have a tire or some other object under the seat to keep it from hitting the ground. Merry-go-rounds, or "whirls" or "roundabouts," are best for school-age children. They should have hand grips, and the rotating platform should be level, free of sharp edges and have adequate clearance to prevent crushing or severing limbs.

Climb carefully

More children are injured falling off climbing equipment or horizontal ladders than anything else on the playground. Children under 4 should only play on this equipment with adult assistance and supervision. Watch older children when they're climbing, check that steps and handrails are in good condition and make sure a guardrail or barrier surrounds raised platforms. Any climbing ropes should be secured at the top and bottom. The number of injuries caused by monkey bars is so significant that many experts recommend that they be removed from all playgrounds.


You must log in before leaving your comment