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Playground & Backyard Safety
Facts, Figures & General Information
 The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that more than 200,000 children end up in hospital emergency rooms with injuries associated with playground equipment. Falls from the equipment to the ground accounted for most of the injuries because many backyard playsets are placed on dirt or grass. These surfaces to not adequately protect children when they fall.

Safety Tips (a partial list)
Swing Set
The CPSC offers these safety tips to help “make your backyard playground a safe place to play”:
  • Install and maintain a shock-absorbing surface around the play equipment.
  • Install protective surfacing at least 6 feet in all directions from play equipment. For swings, be sure surfacing extends, in back and front, twice the height of the suspending bar.
  • Never attach – or allow children to attach – ropes, jump ropes, clotheslines, or pet leashes to play equipment; children can strangle on these.
  • Check for hardware, like open "S" hooks or protruding bolt ends, which can be hazardous.
  • Check for spaces that could trap children, such as openings in guardrails or between ladder rungs; these spaces should measure less than 3.5 inches or more than 9 inches.
  • Make sure platforms and ramps have guardrails to prevent falls.
  • Check for sharp points or edges in equipment.
  • Remove tripping hazards, like exposed concrete footings, tree stumps, and rocks.
  • Regularly check play equipment and surfacing to make sure both are in good condition.
  • Carefully supervise children on play equipment to make sure they are safe.

Parents need to think about burn prevention at the playground, too! Did you know playground slides can reach temperatures exceeding 160 degrees F? Any surface this hot can cause first, second and even third degree burns. Reduce or eliminate playground burns by remembering these simple rules:
  • Choose a playground and/or playground equipment that is in the shade or visit the playground at cooler times of the day.
  • Adults should check the temperature of the equipment before allowing children to use it.
  • Read the signs posted in the recreational areas.
  • Always wear shoes, preferably sneakers or closed-toed shoes that can’t fall off.
  • If you or your child does get burned, apply cool water to the area for several minutes and then consult your physician. Most burns to children require medical attention.
  • Watch out for:
    • black rubber safety mats on play ground bases
    • anything black absorbs a great amount of heat (black swing seats can reach 120 degrees F)
    • monkey bars, swings and fire poles
    • just because there’s water doesn’t mean it’s cool; be careful of water parks, too!

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
National Program for Playground Safety

10416 Watterson Trail   |   Jeffersontown, KY 40299   |   Ph: (502) 267-8333   |   Fx: (502) 267-0547
10416 Watterson Trail   |   Jeffersontown, KY 40299   |   Ph: (502) 267-8333   |   Fx: (502) 267-0547