Is Your Neighborhood Playground Safe?
A Safety Checklist
Here’s a checklist of items parents should look for when taking their children to playgrounds:
- Protective ground surfacing around the equipment (nine to 12 inches of loose fill or a rubberized surface)
- Equipment of the proper height (four feet or less for preschooler and toddlers kids, six feet or less for grade school kids)
- Sufficient fall zones (a minimum of six feet) around slides, swings, and climbing equipment
- Absence of peeling paint and other similar signs of deterioration
- Proper distance between swings (24 inches between each swing, 30 inches between apparatus supports)
- No head entrapment hazards (no opening between 3.5 and 9 inches wide)
- No entanglement hazards (S-hooks, gaps, protrusions, or other items that could catch a child’s clothing)
- No dangerous equipment, such as animal swings, multiple occupancy swings, rope swings, and trapeze bars
The CFA offers free checklists parents can use to identify potential hazards of local playgrounds and to purchase home playground equipment. These checklists can be found on either the CFA website (www.consumerfed.org) or by sending a letter to the CFA, accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope, at Playground Checklist/Home Play Equipment, PO Box 12099, Washington, DC 20005-0999.
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