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2827 Ramada Way, Ashwaubenon, WI 54304 | 920-272-0110 | info@ccsgb.org

Playground Safety

Playgrounds are a great way to encourage children to be active outdoors. But before heading to the park or backyard, make sure your play zone is safe enough for your little one!

Soft Surfaces

Because nearly 79% of playground injuries are caused by falls to the ground, improper surfacing is the first thing parents should watch for when they inspect a playground.
 

Look for these soft surfaces:

  • Wood chips

  • Bark mulch

  • Wood fibers

  • Sand

  • Pea gravel

  • Shredded tires

  • Rubber mats

  • Synthetic turf

 

A minimum depth of 12 inches of material surrounding each piece of equipment in a 6-foot fall zone is recommended. And regular maintenance is crucial.

Avoid these hard surfaces:

  • Concrete

  • Grass

  • Dirt 

Dress for Success

Avoid wearing any clothing or items that can easily get caught on playground equipment and could cause strangulation.

Items to avoid:

  • Clothing with drawstrings

  • Necklaces

  • Scarves

  • Helmets

 

Ensure children are also wearing shoes that will protect their feet, such as sneakers. Avoid sandals and other shoes that can easily fall off or that do not cover your child’s toes and feet.

More than 200,000 children visit hospital emergency rooms annually due to playground injuries.

Swings

Swings are the pieces of moving equipment that are most likely to cause injuries to children.

  • 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.

Climb Carefully

  • Watch older children when they're climbing.

  • Check that steps and handrails are in good condition.

  • Make sure a guardrail or barrier surrounds raised platforms.

  • Climbing ropes should be secured at the top and bottom. 

Other Safety Tips

  • Watch older children when they're climbing.

  • Check that steps and handrails are in good condition.

  • Climbing ropes should be secured at the top and bottom. 

  • Stationary equipment should have at least a 6 foot use zone in all directions.

  • Any openings that can trap children (in guardrails or between ladder rungs) should be less than 3.5 inches apart or more than 9 inches.

  • Guardrails should surround all elevated platforms and should be at least 29 inches high for preschool-age children and 38 inches high for school-age children.

  • Look for exposed concrete footings, tree roots or rocks that could trip children.

  • Check for sharp edges and dangerous hardware, like open “S” hooks or protruding bolts.

  • Make sure your child plays on age-appropriate equipment.

  • Supervise children while they play.