Basic Playground Safety Guidelines And Maintenance Issues

- Jan 03, 2018 -

The information described below should be used as a guideline to minimize injuries related to amusement park equipment. However, it is considered that these recommendations, together with technical information on the ASTM public playground standards, will help to improve the safety of playgrounds.

What is a public playground?

Public playgrounds are for children aged June to 12 years of age in commercial childcare facilities, institutions, family homes, parks, restaurants, resorts and schools.

Information in this article:

General Playground Safety Considerations

Playground materials and surfacing

Identify the dangers of specific playgrounds and how to prevent them

Appropriate steps required to maintain the playground and its equipment

Use of platforms, guardrail and protective barriers to reduce accidental falls

When you decorate the playground, you should keep in mind 7 key factors:

Accessibility: Surface materials need to allow disabled children to use the equipment.

Age separation: Areas of different age groups should be separated by buffers. The region will reduce the chances of children being injured because of their different levels of activity.

Age group: There are differences in children's playgrounds in different age groups. Security requirements differ from each age group. To note that the age group will use the playground and buy accordingly.

Conflicting activities: The playground should be organized into sections to prevent the damage caused by overlapping activities. Be sure to put the swings and merry-go towards a corner, edge or side of a play area. Slides should not be placed in crowded areas.

Sight: visual impairment should be minimized so that caregivers, parents or supervisors can track children using the playground. Benches placed outside the structure allow bystanders to sit in a place while they look at the child.

Signs and/or tags: should provide the logo, give the user the age suitability of the equipment, and how to correctly use the equipment guidance.

Supervision: Ensure that supervisors understand the basic safety standards of the equipment.

There are several important factors to consider when locating a playground:

Travel to and from the playground: is there any danger on the road? If so, remove the danger.

Proximity to the danger of proximity (traffic, body of water, steep mountain etc.): the child may inadvertently or deliberately run to the nearby danger? If so, provide a way to accommodate children in the playground (fences, hedges). Please note that the fence or hedge should still be allowed to be observed by supervisors.

Sun exposure: Does the sun heat enough to heat metal parts, slides, platforms, steps or enough surfaces to burn children? Are users exposed to the sun during the most stressful days of the day? If so, consider positioning it so that the exposed metal is shaded. Provide a warning that the equipment will be hot in the sun. Consider shading the playground with a shade structure.

Slopes and drains: will loose fillers be washed away in the rain? If so, consider proper drainage to prevent washing out.

When installing the playground, use the manufacturer's approved equipment and hardware. Strictly follow the instructions or lease the playground installation. Remember all the material from the manufacturer and start a meticulous record of all the checks and maintenance. Thoroughly inspect the device, including hardware, before using it for the first time.


The use of wood containing creosote (railway ties, telephone poles, etc.) and coatings containing pesticides should not be used.

Passivation Copper arsenate (CCA) is an ancient chemical used to treat wood, including wooden playgrounds. Since 2001, this treatment is no longer safe and it is known to corrode certain materials faster than others.


Avoid using bare metal in platforms, slides, or steps. In direct sunlight, the exposed metal becomes very hot, causing contact burns. Use plastic coated metal, plastic or wood. It's always best to cover the playground with shelter. Dangtu deposited with existing bare metal or using plastic coated metal, consider:

Manufacturers should ensure that users cannot ingest, inhale or absorb potentially dangerous amounts of preservative chemicals in contact.

All paints shall conform to the lead paint requirements of the Consumer safety Committee.

The painted surface should be regularly maintained to prevent rust and corrosion.


Check for hardware:

All fasteners, connectors and coverings should not be detachable without the use of tools.

All exposed hardware should be smooth to the user to prevent tearing, penetrating, or fabric tangles.

Mobile joints hardware should prevent inadvertent or unauthorized loosening.

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