Playground Equipment Safety Tips

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Do you know that over 200,000 children are injured each year on America’s playgrounds?  The majority of injuries occur on public playground equipment with falls being the leading cause of injuries.  We at would like to take this opportunity to share both playground S.A.F.E. factors and Head to Toe safety (tips):

There are four contributing factors to properly maintain a safe playground atmosphere:

S.A.F.E. Factors

  1. Provide proper Supervision of children on playgrounds.
  2. Design Age-appropriate playgrounds.
  3. Provide proper Fall surfacing under and around playgrounds.
  4. Properly maintain playground Equipment.



Playground Head to Toe Safety

Bicycle Helmets

Children should not wear bike helmets when playing on equipment.

Prevent Burns

Parents should check for hot surfaces on playground equipment before allowing children to play on it. Slides with metal surfacing (though not recommended by the CPSC) are still in existence in many older playgrounds. If shade structures do not protect the slide from the sun, the surface can become extremely hot and can even cause burns on the skin.

Note: All playground equipment surfaces, especially dark colors, regardless of material type can become extremely hot in direct sunlight.

Strings can strangle children on playground equipment.

Clothing strings, loose clothing, and stringed items placed around the neck can catch on playground equipment and strangle children. Strings on sweatshirt hoods should be removed

Remove animal swings from playgrounds.

In 1995, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)

recalled these heavy molded plastic animal swings.

Ropes should be secured at both ends.

There should be no loose ropes on playground equipment. Loose ropes have cause strangulation and severe injuries.

Temperature affects whether children should be playing outside.

Weather that poses a significant health risk should include wind chill factor at or below minus 15˚F and heath index at or above 90˚F, as identified by the National Weather Service.

Source: Health promotion and protection: Standard Playing outdoors. (2011). In Caring for our children: National health and safety performance standards; Guidelines for early care and education programs (3rd ed.). Retrieved from

You can obtain additional information regarding this topic by logging onto National Program for Playground Safety.

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