Playground Safety Report and Tips

Playground Safety Tips

To help prevent injuries from falls and other hazards on home playgrounds, the following safety tips are recommended:

  • Install and maintain at least 9 inches of wood chips, mulch, or shredded rubber for play equipment up to 7 feet high. If sand or pea gravel is used, install at least a 9-inch layer for play equipment up to 5 feet high. Or, use surfacing mats made of safety-tested rubber or rubber-like materials.
  • Install protective surfacing at least 6 feet in all directions from play equipment. For swings, the surface should extend, in back and front, twice the height of the suspending bar.
  • Never attach ropes, jump ropes, clotheslines, or pet leashes to the equipment. This can present a serious strangulation hazard to children.
  • Smooth sharp points or edges, and cover open "S" hooks or protruding bolts.
  • Check for openings in guardrails or between ladder rungs. Spaces should be either less than 3 1/2 inches or more than 9 inches so that they don't present an entrapment hazard.
  • Always supervise young children to make sure they are safe.

CPSC, in partnership with KaBOOM!, is issuing a "Home Playground Safety Checklist," to educate parents about creating safe home playgrounds for their kids. To order a free copy of the checklist, call the Federal Consumer Information Center (FCIC) toll-free at 888-878-3256 and ask for item 627H, or go to the FCIC Web site at Consumers also can order the checklist by sending their name and address to FCIC, Dept. 627H, Pueblo, CO 81009.


All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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