What Makes A Safe Playground?

Kids love playgrounds, but not all playgrounds are created equal. Safe playgrounds have impact-absorbing surfaces such as sand, wood chips or shredded rubber to soften the blow of falls. Openings should be less than 3.5 inches or larger than 9 inches to prevent entrapment, and equipment should have adequate spacing to avoid collisions.


Kids need to run around and play, but the environment must be safe for them to do so. Unsafe playground surfacing and equipment discourage children from being active, which can lead to long term health problems. People who supervise at the playground should be familiar with all applicable laws, regulations and guidelines. They should also be trained in first aid, and understand the responsibilities of their position.

Supervisors should avoid talking to each other or texting, as this can draw their attention away from the children they are supposed to be watching. They should also look for any blind spots and establish surveillance zones so they can more easily monitor all areas. This includes ensuring that each piece of equipment has an impact attenuating surface under and around it to make falls safer.

Safe Surfaces

The foundation of a 안전놀이터 is its surface. The best surfacing is shock-absorbing and tested to meet or exceed ASTM standards. It should also be easy to clean and sanitary for kids, who will naturally touch everything they can, and will likely put their hands in their mouths. There are a few different types of safety surfaces, including rubber mulch, rubber tiles and poured-in-place rubber. Poured rubber is a popular choice because it looks nice, has low maintenance costs and can be customized to match the color or theme of a playground. It’s also a great option for waterparks and splash pads. It’s slip-resistant, impact-absorbing and comes in colors that will blend with any environment. It’s also long-lasting and easy to maintain. It meets ADA requirements and provides excellent protection at critical fall heights.

Age-Appropriate Equipment

When many people think of playgrounds, they imagine elementary school-aged kids tackling monkey bars and zipping down slides. But playgrounds are for everyone, and they should cater to children’s needs and abilities. Age-appropriate equipment allows kids to have fun and advance intellectually, physically, and socially. Kids on playgrounds with equipment that doesn’t match their size and development level may become frustrated and abandon the play area altogether.

For example, toddlers need options for building their gross motor skills from crawling to walking. They also need areas for sensory play that introduce them to materials, textures, colors and sound. And they need a safety surface that offers adequate fall protection based on the height of the equipment. For these reasons, Miracle Recreation offers a number of play structures designed for ages 6 months to 23 months.

Tripping Hazards

Kids are prone to falls and the surface they land on can significantly impact the severity of their injuries. Check that the ground surfacing under equipment is soft and cushioned. Look for wood mulch or chips, organic fill material or sand. Avoid poured-in place rubber, which can compress and be uncomfortable for children who fall.

Tripping hazards like loose rocks, misplaced dirt mounds and tree roots should be removed from playground areas. Ideally, your kids should be able to see you at all times. Modern playgrounds often use techniques and materials such as view-friendly tensile safety netting to ensure parents can watch their kids from any angle. Protrusion and entanglement hazards should also be eliminated from playgrounds. Openings on equipment that allow feet first entry should be at least 3 1/2 inches in size, while those that can catch clothing or drawstrings around the neck should be anchored securely and not be able to form loops.

First Aid

Even on safe, age-appropriate equipment, kids can still get hurt. This is why close supervision from adults is so important, to help structure play, remind kids of safety rules and intervene if needed. To help make falls less painful, make sure that there is appropriate ‘impact attenuating surfacing’ under and around all playground equipment. This softer surface is safer in case of a fall and may include wood chips, pea gravel, shredded bark or mats made of safety-tested rubber.

Put together a first aid kit for your children to bring to the playground, including wet wipes for cleaning cuts, adhesive bandages, ibuprofen and topical cream for bug bites or stings. You may also want to include a small supply of sunscreen and insect repellent.

What’s Next?

Children play and learn as they explore climbing, sliding, swinging and hopping on equipment. This activity is vital for their physical, social and thinking development. Most playground injuries are from falls and can be prevented through age-appropriate equipment, maintenance, soft ground surface material and proper spacing of structures.

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