Playground Safety

Each year, over 200,000 children across the United States receive emergency room care for playground related injuries. That is one child every 2 1/2 minutes. These falls can cause serious brain and spinal cord injuries or even death.

Playground Safety Tips

  • Supervise children at all times to prevent pushing, shoving, and crowding around equipment.
  • Make sure children play on playground equipment that is appropriate for their age. For example, don’t let young children play on high climbing equipment such as monkey
    bars. Keep children off equipment that they might fall six or more feet.
  • Check the surface under playground equipment. Avoid playgrounds with asphalt, concrete, grass, and soil surfaces under the equipment. Look for surfaces with hardwood fiber, mulch chips, pea gravel, fine sand, or shredded rubber – materials that can cushion a fall.
  • Remove or cut the hood and neck drawstrings from all children’s outerwear to prevent entanglement and strangulation.
  • Children have died when hood or neck drawstrings were caught on slides and other playground equipment.
  • Make sure children don’t play near spaces that could trap their heads, such as openings in guardrails or between ladder rungs.
  • Check playground equipment to make sure it is safe, with no loose or protruding bolts, jagged edges or sharp points.
  • Check for hot surfaces on metal playground equipment before allowing young children to play. Metal equipment can heat up in direct sunlight and cause burn injuries in just
    a few seconds.
  • Make sure there are no obvious hazards around the playground, such as broken glass, exposed concrete footings, or tree stumps.
  • Look for fencing between the playground and the street to prevent children from running in front of cars.
  • Install playground equipment at least six feet from fences, walls, or trees.

Download the Playground Safety tip card