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Playground Safety Checklist

Each year more than 200,000 children visit hospital emergency rooms because of playground injuries. Approximately 15 children die each year because of playground injuries. Many playground injuries can be prevented. Use this checklist to examine your playground so that children can run, jump, swing and slide to their heart’s content-safely.

  1. Surfaces around playground equipment should be filled with at least 12 inches of loose fill, such as wood chips, mulch, sand or pea gravel.
  2. Most stationary equipment should have at least a 6-foot use zone in all directions.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Look for exposed concrete footings, tree roots or rocks that could trip children.
  6. Check for sharp edges and dangerous hardware,like open “S” hooks or protruding bolts.
  7. Make sure children play on age appropriate equipment.
  8. Play grounds should be maintained regularly. Report any problems.
  9. Remove hoods or drawstrings that can get caught on equipment.
  10. Supervise children while they play.

CLICK HERE for a downloadable pdf version of this checklist. 

For More Information on Playground Safety: National Program Playground Safety

Consumer Product Safety Commission – Playground Safety Handbook