Playground Safety

According to the CDC:


  • Each year in the US, emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children 14 and under for playground related injuries
  • Children ages 5-9 have higher rates of emergency department visits for playground injuries than any other age group
  • On public playgrounds, more injuries occur on climbers (monkey bars, jungle gyms) than any other equipment
  • On home playgrounds, swings are responsible for most injuries

In order to minimize the risk of injury, ensure that there are safe surfaces beneath and surrounding all playground equipment.

Avoid playgrounds with asphalt, concrete, grass, dirt and soil surfaces under the equipment. A fall onto a shock absorbing surface is less likely to cause a serious injury than a fall onto a hard surface.

  • Recommended surface materials include sand, pea gravel, wood chips, mulch and shredded rubber.
  • Surfacing should be at least 12 inches deep and extend at least 6 feet in all directions around stationary equipment.


Always supervise children using playground equipment. Stay where you can see and hear them.

  • Prevent unsafe behaviors like pushing, shoving, crowding and inappropriate use of equipment.
  • Ensure that children use age-appropriate playground equipment.
  • Remove hood and neck drawstrings from all children’s outerwear. Never allow children to wear helmets, necklaces, purses, scarves or clothing with drawstrings while on playgrounds.



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