Playground Guide Part 11
Have an emergency plan
Remove toggles, scarves, or any other clothing that may become entangled on the playground equipment, causing strangulation.
Close any equipment that is broken or needs repair. Issue a work order immediately. Use fencing to close off the playground, or caution tape to close off equipment. Also, post a sign using a bright waterproof material to inform people of the broken equipment.
Schools, daycares, community centers, and other facilities have the resources and staff to supervise their playgrounds. If you do not have a supervision plan, we recommend developing one, maintaining it, and applying it. Train supervisors to look for issues within the playspace. Also, monitor children playing in the area based on their skill set—knowing when to intervene and when not to is an important skill. With proper supervision, a reduction in playground related accidents can happen.
Here are some general playground safety rules to go over with kids.
- Obey directions given by all playground supervisors
- No pushing, roughhousing, or horseplay on the playground.
- Only play approved games on the playground.
- Do not leave the designated play area and keep away from off-limits areas.
- Do not leave bikes, skateboards, scooters, or other large objects in the resilient surfacing area; children can fall on them.
- Do not wear any necklaces, scarfs, and other jewelry on the playground; they can catch on the equipment.
- Avoid wearing clothing with drawstrings.
- Do not throw sand, dirt, wood chips, stones, sticks, rocks, or snowballs.
- Be aware of other kids playing, especially younger children, and try not to bump into them.
- Be courteous and respectfully of other children and supervisors.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) for buildings and facilities:
The ADAAG applies to all public playgrounds in parks, schools, churches, and daycares (unless the daycare is a private residence). Information can be found on the US Access Board website at www.access·board.gov.
Accessible play areas: The US Access Board also publishes a summary of accessibility guidelines for play areas. This manual is available on
US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
Handbook for public playground safety (CPSC Pub #325) published by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
The CPSC guidelines are not a technical document and are meant to be used and clearly understood by the playground equipment owner/operator.
Get your free copy at www.cpsc.gov.
American Standards Testing and Materials (ASTM)
Standard consumer safety performance specification for playground equipment for public use (ASTM F·1487). Published by the American Standards Testing and Materials International (ASTM). The ASTM guidelines is a technical document written for the manufacturer as well as the owner/operator.
You can purchase your copy at www.astm.org.
Standard Specification for Impact Attenuation of Surfacing Materials Within the Use Zone of Playground Equipment (ASTM F·1292).
They are published by the American Standards Testing and Materials International (ASTM). The ASTM guideline is for the manufacturer of playground surfacing materials. Purchase your copy at www.astm.org.
Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) the United States
A CPSI is a person who has been professional trained in the playground safety and inspection course organized by the National Playground Safety Institute (NPSI).
Contact your local CPSI in your area to inspect and audit the equipment in your playspace after installation and before first use. A playground audit will give you a baseline to work with to help maintain your play equipment and resilient safety surfacing.
Certified Playground Inspector (CPI) Canada
The Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA) currently offers a CPRA Canadian Certified Playground Inspector Certification program. Individuals who pass the Theory and Practical training courses through the Canadian Playground Safety Institute (CPSI) become certified playground inspectors.
This program will help individuals understand CAN/CSA Z614 “Children’s Playspaces and Equipment” and learn how to conduct a hands-on inspection/audit of their playspace.
Contact your local CPI in your area to inspect and audit the equipment in your playspace after installation and before first use. A playground audit will give you a baseline to work with to help maintain your play equipment and resilient safety surfacing.
IPEMA (International Playground Equipment Manufacturers Association)
IPEMA is an organization that oversees the third-party certification process. TUV·SUD America is the third-party responsible for evaluating and approving play equipment and surfacing for compliance with ASTM F1487, ASTM F1292, and CSA Z614.
Playground and surfacing manufacturers can get their products certified product to the ASTM F1487, CSA Z614, and ASTM F·1292 through IPEMA’s program. Note, just being a member of IPEMA does not mean that a company’s products are certified. To check to see if a product is IPEMA certified, go to IPEMA’s website at www.ipema.org.
Standard Specification for Determination of Accessibility of Surface Systems Under and Around Playground Equipment (ASTM F·1951)
Manufacturers of playground surfacing materials use this standard. Purchase your copy at www.astm.org.
SAFE (Supervision Age appropriate Fall Surfacing Equipment Maintenance)
SAFE is a national program for playground safety. Visit www.playgroundsafety.org to view their program to assist owner operators plan and maintain a safe play area for children.
Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) is a not-for-profit membership-based association serving business, industry, government and consumers in Canada and the global marketplace. Henderson designs and manufactures play equipment to be compliant with the release of CAN/CSA-Z614, “Children’s Playspaces and Equipment” that is current at the time of manufacture. Henderson is a full member of the Technical Committee that is responsible for the development of the “Children’s Playspaces and Equipment” standard.
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