Safe Playgrounds: What to Look For

August 8, 2017

Safe Playgrounds - What to Look For - adventureTURF Surface InstallerNot so long ago, playgrounds were fairly dangerous places for children to play. Monkey bars and climbing towers 10 feet tall, everything made of metal that gets hot in the sun not to mention its propensity to rust in the rain, and play surfaces that were made of rock hard dirt or even pavement. Safe playgrounds were not the norm. Children would often get severe burns from the metal play equipment and broken limbs or worse from falling off the tall contraptions onto hard surfaces. According to a study released by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on traumatic brain injury (TBI), falls were listed as a leading cause of TBI-related hospitalizations for children 0-14 years of age. This data is from as recent as 2013.

Thankfully playgrounds are much safer than they used to be.

As parents we want keep our children safe, while also allowing them to exercise, enjoy the outdoors, make friends, and play, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has come up with a Public Playground Safety Checklist:

  1. Make sure surfaces around playground equipment have at least 12 inches of wood chips, mulch, sand, or pea gravel, additional padding for synthetic turf, or are mats made of safety-tested rubber or rubber-like materials.
  2. Check that protective surfacing extends 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.
  3.  Make sure play structures more than 30 inches high are spaced at least 9 feet apart.
  4. Check for dangerous hardware, like open “S” hooks or protruding bolt ends.
  5. Make sure spaces that could trap children, such as openings in guardrails or between ladder rungs, measure less than 3.5 inches or more than 9 inches.
  6. Check for sharp points or edges in equipment.
  7. Look out for tripping hazards, like exposed concrete footings, tree stumps, and rocks.
  8. Make sure elevated surfaces, like platforms and ramps, have guardrails to prevent falls.
  9. Check playgrounds regularly to see that equipment and surfacing are in good condition.
  10. Carefully supervise children on playgrounds to make sure they’re safe.

As playground surface installers, we pay special attention and adhere to several items on the list, however we know that the poured rubber surfacing we use is the safest surface for children to play on. We meet and/or exceed ASTM safety standards F1951 and ASTM F1292 and we are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Playground safety is our first priority and we work with each and every one of our playground surfacing clients to be sure that the surface extension is adequate for fall heights under each piece of equipment.


adventureTURF is a turnkey playground and safety surfacing company that offers customers a number of surfacing options including poured in place and pre-fabricated rubber tile systems. The primary focus of the adventureTURF crew is to install the safest surface possible for both children and adults to work and play. We do this by using only the highest quality playground surfacing material available on the market today. Whether customers need rubber surfacing on a community playground, pool deck surface or rubber safety flooring, the team at adventureTURF can design and install a quality recreation area that fits a customer’s needs and their budget.

Contact us today to learn more.

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