Each year more than 200,000 children go to U.S. hospital emergency rooms with injuries associated with playgrounds. Most injuries occur when a child falls from the playground equipment to the ground. The following information provides some basic guidelines to help you ensure your children are safe while playing on playgrounds.
It is critical to understand the various safety hazards that may be present on the playground and to implement design choices to mitigate those hazards. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) provides a wealth of information about playground design and safety. The information is broken down into easily accessible guides that are available for download by the public.
CPSC Safety Alert: Never Put Children's Climbing Gyms on Hard Surfaces
Public Playground Safety: CPSC Public Safety Checklist
Backyard Playground Safety: CPSC Outdoor Home Playground Safety Handbook
Strangulation Hazards: CPSC Strangulation Hazard with Cargo Nets
Wooden Structures: CPSC Guidance for Outdoor Wooden Structures (PDF)
It's easy to verify that the playground safety surface you plan to use meets the industry standards and regulation for fall protection. The International Playground Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA) administers a certification program for its members that establishes requirements for quality control and testing to insure the member products meet the performance safety requirements of ASTM F3351 for fall protection. You can use the IPEMA website to quickly check the Certification status of any product by clicking here.