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Safety

American Academy of Pediatrics

Safety Tips for Home Playground Equipment

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  • When purchasing home playground equipment, choose a set that is labeled as meeting safety standard ASTM F1148.

  • Carefully supervise young children using playground equipment. Keep children from shoving, pushing, or fighting.

  • The surface under playground equipment should be energy absorbent. Use safety-tested mats or loose-fill materials (such as shredded rubber, sand, wood chips, or bark) maintained to a depth of at least 9 inches.

  • Install the protective surface at least 6 feet (more for swings and slides) in all directions from the equipment.

  • Swing seats should be made of something soft, not wood or metal.

  • Children should not twist swings, swing empty seats, or walk in front of moving swings.

  • Put home playground equipment together correctly. It should sit on a level surface and be anchored firmly to the ground. You may need help from a professional to install the equipment properly.

  • Cap all screws and bolts. Check periodically for loose nuts and bolts and broken, rusty, or sharp parts.

  • Install playground equipment at least 6 feet from fences or walls.

  • Check for hot metal surfaces on equipment, such as those on slides, which could cause burns.

  • Never attach ropes, jump ropes, clotheslines, or pet leashes to playground equipment because children can strangle on them.

  • Children should always wear shoes and should not wear helmets or clothing with drawstrings while playing.

Patient education handouts from TIPP—The Injury Prevention Program help pediatricians implement injury prevention counseling for parents of children newborn through 12 years of age.

The information in this publication should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

© 2020 American Academy of Pediatrics. All rights reserved.

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