These are some of the recommendations that The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) offers from its Handbook for Public Playground Safety.
Since almost 60% of all injuries are caused by falls to the ground, protective surfacing under and around all playground equipment is the most critical safety factor on playgrounds. Certain manufactured synthetic surfaces also are acceptable; however, test data on shock absorbing performance should be requested from the manufacturer. Asphalt and concrete are unacceptable. They do not have any shock absorbing properties. Similarly, grass and turf should not be used. Their ability to absorb shock during a fall can be reduced considerably through wear and environmental conditions.
Certain loose-fill surfacing materials are acceptable, such as the types and depths shown in the table:
|FALL HEIGHT IN FEET FROM WHICH A LIFE THREATENING HEAD INJURY WOULD NOT BE EXPECTED|
|Type of material||6” Depth||9” Depth||12” Depth|
|Double shredded bark mulch||6||10||11|
A fall zone, covered with a protective surfacing materials, is essential under and around equipment where a child might fall. This area should be free of other equipment and obstacles onto which a child might fall. Stationary climbing equipment and slides should have a fall zone extending a minimum of 6' in all directions from the perimeter of the equipment. Swings should have a fall zone extending a minimum of 6' from the outer edge of the support structure on each side. The fall zone in front and back of the swing should extend out a minimum distance of twice the height of the swing as measured from the ground to the top of the swing support structure.
It is recommended that children are supervised by an adult while playground equipment is in use.
Do not let children walk or play close to other children who are swinging or using other activities that include motion.
Do not let children twist swings, swing chains, or ropes since this may reduce the strength of these items.
Do not let children swing empty swing seats or other empty activities.
Teach children to sit in the center of swings with their full weight on the swing seats. Never let children stand on swings or other swinging activities including tire swings.
Teach children to use the playground equipment in the intended manner.
Children should not to get off play equipment while play equipment is still in motion.
Parents should make sure children are dressed appropriately while using our play equipment. For example, wear well fitting clothing and closed toe shoes. Avoid loose fitting clothing such as scarves, ponchos, and clothing that has drawstrings.
Avoid climbing on playground equipment when wet as this may lead to a slip or fall.