Stay Safe on the Playground

Five children playing on slide with girl smiling going down green slide

Playgrounds are a great place to build community and to help keep children active. However, accidental injuries can occur due to falls, hangings, entrapments, strikes by moving parts or sharp points.

Help prevent playground injuries by taking these precautions:

  • Be cautious of where you install equipment. Separate it from streets, parking lots and other areas with fencing. Do not install it on paved surfaces, grass or dirt. If you have equipment on a paved surface that you can’t move, provide shock absorbing mats or surfacing under and around the equipment.
  • Ensure that the equipment location and spacing allows for the even distribution of children throughout the playground area.
  • Make sure to firmly anchor the equipment. Install concrete footings at least four inches below grade.
  • Remove cable ropes, wires and other obstructions between pieces of equipment.
  • Install slip resistant surfaces on all climbing equipment, gripping and step components.

Inspection and maintenance of equipment is vital to ensuring it is safe. Inspect the equipment and the area daily, and repair deficiencies promptly. When conducting inspections, eliminate and repair the following specific conditions:

  • Tripping hazards, such as rocks, tree roots, depressions or low containment structures, which must be at least six inches above the surface to be visible
  • Equipment components that are bent, cracked, rusted or warped
  • Open or deformed “S” hooks, links, rungs and shackles
  • Worn swing seats and chains
  • Damaged, loose or missing swing seats
  • Broken or damaged anchors and supports
  • Damaged-exposed concrete anchors, which must be at least four inches below grade
  • Accessible sharp edges, bolts, fasteners and protrusions
  • Uncapped, exposed tube endings
  • Cracked or splintered wood
  • Worn bearings
  • Broken or missing rails, rungs, seats and steps
  • Loose nuts and bolts
  • Areas of poor drainage