improving playground safety
knowledge, understanding, and accountability!
SAFE AT PLAY
Public agencies should establish maintenance plans based on manufacturer’s recommendations and CPSC guidelines. It is important that playground inspections are conducted by a Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) to ensure proper maintenance and that each playground meets the current national standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Safe at Play will train and collaborate with the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS), the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), and Safe Kids Worldwide.
NPPS has devised a National Action Plan that consist of four contributing factors to properly maintain a safe playground environment.
1. Provide proper supervision of children on playgrounds.
2. Design age-appropriate playgrounds.
3. Provide proper fall surfacing under and around playgrounds.
4. Properly maintain playground equipment.
National Program for Playground Safety. (2016.). Retrieved March 26, 2016, from http://playgroundsafety.org/
Playground safety experts highly recommend the use of various loose-fill or synthetic surface materials. The selection of cushioned surfacing varies from playground to playground. Acceptable loose-fill materials include hardwood wooden fiber, shredded rubber, sand, and pea gravel.
Adults should always be present when children are playing at a local park, a school playground, child care center, or on the equipment in your backyard.
Supervision is a critical component to the safety of children. Active and proper supervision can assist in ensuring safety and preventing injuries. Play areas need to be designed so that supervisors can see all areas.
NPPS recommends that adults be proactive in selecting age appropriate equipment and requesting separate play areas for different age groups:
6 months through 23 months, ages 2 to 5, and 5 to 12. These areas should be marked by signage indicating the age-appropriate areas. In addition, designs should be based on the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of the aforementioned age groups.