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CPSC Public Playground Safety Checklist

  • Make sure surfaces around playground equipment have at least 12 inches of wood chips, mulch, sand, pea gravel, or mats made of safety-tested rubber or rubber-like materials.
  • Check that protective surfacing extends at least 6 feet in all directions from play equipment. For swings, be sure surfacing extends, in front and back, twice the height of the suspending bar.
  • Make sure play structures more than 30 inches high are spaced 9 feet apart.
  • Check for dangerous hardware, like open "S" hooks or protruding bolt ends.
  • Ensure 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.
  • Check for sharp points or edges in equipment.
  • Look for tripping hazards, such as exposed concrete footings, tree stumps and rocks.
  • Make sure elevated surfaces, such as platforms and ramps, have guardrails to prevent falls.
  • Check playgrounds regularly to see that equipment and surfacing are in good condition.
  • Carefully supervise children on playgrounds to make sure they are safe.