Skip to main content

Backyard Playground Safety Issues

Safety in backyard playgrounds is obviously just as necessary as at public facilities.

"Ten years ago, a study conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission discovered more deaths occurred on backyard playground equipment than on public playgrounds," recently reported. "A 2009 study from the CPSC found that 40 deaths were associated with playground equipment between 2001 to 2008, the majority of which were the result of hangings or asphyxiations."

Toward preventing such tragedies, the article highlights "location," "equipment," "surfaces" and "inspection" as the keys to a consistently safe backyard play area.

Playground placement is especially emphasized:

"Location, location, location! A home playground's location is very important. When deciding where to put a playground, consider its accessibility."

Earshot distance is a suggested gauge for determining a reasonable distance for responders -- be they parental or paramedic -- in the event of an emergency.

Other statistics of note:
  •  On Equipment -- "A 2009 report from the CPSC indicated that climbers were associated with 23 percent of all playground injuries while swings were associated with 22 percent."
  • On Surfaces -- "According to the CPSC, 67 percent of playground accidents between 2001 and 2008 involved falls or equipment failure."

Regarding playground equipment "inspection," the article advises parents to make children very aware that they should immediately report if anything is loose or not properly functioning.

"Kids often like to play rough, and as a result playgrounds commonly take quite a beating," the article states. "Even if equipment was sturdy at installation and was installed to the letter of the manufacturer's instructions, parents should routinely inspect equipment to ensure it's holding up to the wear and tear of children."

Popular posts from this blog

Consensus Lacking on Playground Supervision Ratios

It’s clear that adult supervision is the best way to prevent mishaps on playgrounds, whether they be school yards, back yards, parks or wherever groups of children gather to play. But an important aspect of this, narrowing down a viable ratio of adult supervisors to children, remains elusive.

The answer, of course, varies depending on the dimensions and specific characteristics of a playground, the age range and number of children present, as well as legal and administrative factors.

So the key question remains, how many adult supervisors should be present? And while there’s far from a consensus or clearly defined mandate, playground supervision is definitely an active, ongoing topic of discussion in the realms of tort lawyers, government agencies, educators and the broader playground safety community.

Columbia, South Carolina law firm Duff, White & Turner provides a detailed recommendation: “In the area of supervision, school districts should establish an appropriate adult to stud…

Special Needs Playgrounds Gaining Ground

As playgrounds grow and evolve with increasing attention paid to safety and equipment durability, it's important to note that kids with physical limitations need adequate places to play just as much, if not more, than kids without disabilities.

Children who must contend with limited mobility and dexterity need much more carefully designed equipment and facilities. In recent years, awareness of making parts of everyday life more "handicapped accessible" is now commonplace in many areas of everyday life.
And in the wake of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, through which Congress made accessible public facilities the law of the land, focus on accessible playgrounds has naturally followed suit. Creating recreational facilities accessible to all, however still remains an uphill battle in many instances.
Parents of children with disabilities often have to go out of their way to make local accessible playgrounds a reality. The St. Tammany Kids Konnection Boundless Playgro…