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Playground Safety Tips

Look out for sharp points, corners, or edges on equipment. These can cut or puncture the skin. The corners should be rounded, and metal edges should be rolled or have rounded capping. Wood parts should be smooth and splinter-free. Some metal surfaces, like slides, can heat up enough on hot, sunny days, and may burn the skin.

Beware of openings. Children may get their heads or feet stuck in them. Slats and metal bars should be spaced too far apart for a young child to get his head caught in or too close to each other to fit his feet through. Cargo nets pose the hazard of entrapment.

Watch out for cables, wires, or ropes. Children might trip over and fall. They should be brightly colored so that they are easily spotted by children, or should be placed at an area farther from playing children. Remove any large or sharp rock, and tree roots jutting out.

Check to see if the equipment is anchored securely to the ground, including handrails, ladders, and steps.

Test surfaces for hardness. Hard surfaces pose the risk of a head injury or fractures. Safe surfaces are made of shock-absorbing materials, such as mulch, wood chips, sand, fine gravel, and rubber matting materials.