Playground Safety: 10 Maintenance Check Points on your Playground
- Make sure surfaces around playground equipment have at least 9″ of loose-fill rubber, 9″ of certified EWF (Engineered Wood Fiber), 12″ of un-tested wood mulch; or include mats made of safety-tested rubber or rubber-like materials.
- Check that protective surfacing extends at least 6 feet in all directions from play equipment. For swings, be sure surfacing extends; in back and front; twice the height of the suspending bar.
- Make sure play structures more than 30 inches high are spaced at least 9 feet apart.
- Check for dangerous hardware, like open “S” hooks or protruding bolt ends. These can catch on clothing such as hoodies, or loose clothes.
- Make sure spaces that could trap children, such as openings in guardrails or between ladder rungs, measure less than 3.5 inches or more than 9 inches.
- Check for sharp points or edges in equipment.
- Look out for tripping hazards, like exposed concrete footings, tree stumps, and rocks.
- Make sure elevated surfaces, like platforms and ramps, have guardrails to prevent falls and the climbers have no more than a 15″ space to access/exit.
- Check playgrounds regularly to see that equipment and surfacing are in good condition
- Carefully supervise children on playgrounds to make sure they’re safe.
Above all, make sure your equipment is age-appropriate in design. Kids will challenge and regulate themselves during free play, and you’ll find that your “safe” low level platforms and climbers are being used inappropriately by older kids that aren’t being stimulated.
Don’t forget to reference the Fundraising Resources page on the top right tab, for products and resource to help you with your playground fundraiser. If you are planning a public playground project in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, Kentucky, or North Carolina and would like design advice, please contact us.