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Overview

! Applicable Guidelines & Standards


! Definitions
! Why is a safe playground important?
! Statistics
! What is a safe playground?
! What constitutes an unsafe playground?
! Other considerations
! Summary

Guidelines & Standards

Applicable Guidelines & Standards


!

CPSC Pub 325, Public Playground Safety Handbook

ASTM F1487-11, Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for


Playground Equipment for Public Use

ASTM F1292-09, Standard Specification for Impact Attenuation of Surfacing Materials


Within the Use Zone of Playground Equipment

ASTM F1951-09b, Standard Specification for Determination of Accessibility of


Surface Systems Under and Around Playground Equipment

ASTM F2223-10, Standard Guide for ASTM Standards on Playground Surfacing

ASTM F2479-12, Standard Guide for Specification, Purchase, Installation and


Maintenance of Poured-in-Place Playground Surfacing

ASTM F2049-11, Standard Guide for Fences/Barriers for Public,


Commercial, and Multi-Family Residential Use Outdoor Play Areas

ASTM F2075-10a, Standard Specification for Engineered Wood


Fiber for Use as a Playground Safety Surface Under and Around
Playground Equipment

DOJ 2010 ADA Standard for Accessible Design

CPSC Guidelines are NOT for:


!

Amusement park equipment

Sports or fitness equipment

Users over age 12

Soft contained play equipment

Constant air inflatable play


devices

Art and museum sculptures

Equipment found in water play


facilities

Home playground equipment

ASTM F1487 Stipulates:


Products or materials
(site furnishings) that are
installed outside of the
equipment use zone,
such as benches, tables,
independent shade structures,
and borders used to contain
protective surfacing, are not
considered playground
equipment and are not
included in this specification.

Definitions

A Few Key Definitions


! Public playground
! Designated play surface
! Fall height
! Critical height
! Entanglement
! Protrusion
! Entrapment
! Use zone

Define: Public Playground


Public playground equipment refers to
equipment for use by children ages 6
months through 12 years in the
playground areas of:
!

Commercial (non-residential)
child care facilities

Institutions

Multiple family dwellings:


Apartment & condominium buildings

City, state, & community


maintained parks

Restaurants

Resorts & recreational developments

Schools

Other areas of public use

Define: Designated Play Surface


Any elevated surface for
standing, walking, crawling,
sitting or climbing, or a flat
surface greater than 2
inches wide by 2 inches
long having an angle less
than 30 from horizontal.

Define: Fall Height


The vertical distance
between the highest
designated play surface
on a piece of equipment
and the protective
surfacing beneath it.

Define: Critical Height


The fall height below
which a life-threatening
head injury would not
be expected to occur.
A rating for protective
surfacing expressed in
even feet.

Critical Height

Define: Entanglement
A condition in which the
users clothes or something
around the users neck
becomes caught or
entwined on a component
of playground equipment.

Entanglement

Define: Protrusion
A projection which, when
tested, is found to be a
hazard having the potential
to cause bodily injury to a
user who impacts it.

Define: Entrapment
Any condition that
impedes withdrawal of
a body or body part that
has penetrated an opening.
Preschool and school-age
small torso template
(5th percentile for 2-year old child)

Entrapment
If the small torso template
passes through an opening,
the large head template
must also pass through
the opening.
Large head template
(95th percentile for a 5-year old child)

Entrapments

Define: Use Zone


The surface under and around a piece of equipment
onto which a child falling from or exiting from the
equipment would be expected to land.

Use Zone

Importance
Of Safe Playgrounds

Safe Playground Importance


! It may be the law
State law
Federal law
! Liability
! Its the kids!

It May Be the Law


! CPSC Publication No. 325 and ASTM playground
standards are generally considered to be voluntary
! According to the National Program for Playground
Safety, the following states have adopted all or parts
of CPSC or ASTM

Playground Legislation
Arkansas

Oklahoma

California

Oregon

Connecticut

Rhode Island

Florida

Tennessee

Illinois

Texas

Michigan

Utah

New Jersey

Virginia

North Carolina

Wyoming

Source: National Program for Playground Safety, NPPS; http://playgroundsafety.org/standards/regulations

Liability
! Death or injury
! Lawsuits
! Public perception
! Reputation

Its the Kids

Statistics

Playground Accidents
Between 2001 - 2008, an average of 218,851 preschool
and elementary children received emergency department
care for injuries that occurred on playground equipment.
! 51% of the injuries happened on public playground equipment
! 19% occurred on home playground equipment
! 20% not recorded
! 1% Other
Source: Injuries & Investigated Deaths Associated with Playground Equipment, 2001-08;
CPSC October 29, 2009 Statistics are based, in part, on data provided by the
National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS)

Playground Accidents
Of the incidents reported:
! 67% involved falls or equipment failure
! 8% hazards around but not related to the equipment
! 7% collisions with other children or the equipment
! 7% entrapments
! 11% other
Source: Injuries & Investigated Deaths Associated with Playground Equipment, 2001-08;
CPSC October 29, 2009 Statistics are based, in part, on data provided by the
National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS)

Playground Accidents
40 Deaths were associated with playground
equipment between 2001-2008.
! Average age was 6 years; median age was 4 years.
! 27 deaths were the result of hangings or other
asphyxiations
! 7 deaths were the result of head or neck injuries
Source: Injuries & Investigated Deaths Associated with Playground Equipment, 2001-08;
CPSC October 29, 2009 Statistics are based, in part, on data provided by the
National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS)

Safe Playgrounds

What is a Safe Playground?

What is a Safe Playground?


! Conforms with CPSC and ASTM Guidelines
! Regular Inspections and Maintenance
High Frequency
Low Frequency
! Training
Maintenance Personnel
Monitors
Other Stakeholders
! Supervision

What is a Safe Playground?


! Replacement Program
Equipment doesnt last forever
No consistent life cycle; affected by:
Environment
Materials
Use patterns/unrestricted access
Maintenance

! Vigilance

Unsafe Playgrounds
Common Playground Hazards

Entanglements

Entanglements

Entanglements

Wrong Parts

Protrusions

Protective Surfacing

Protective Surfacing

Other Concerns

Other Concerns

Other Concerns

Other Concerns

Other Concerns

For Consideration

Risk Management Signage

ADA Compliance

Summary

Summary
! Keys to a Safe Playground
Design
Installation
Maintenance
Supervision

Summary
! Children learn from
taking risks
! It is our job to eliminate
the hazards

A Safe Playground is
No Accident

References
ALPHAfacilities.com
for resources:
! Pub 325
! DOJ 2010 ADA
Standard for
Accessible Design
! CPSC Playground
Injuries Report 2009

Ron Menke
Certified Playground Safety Inspector #180181-0116
National Playground Safety Institute of
the National Recreation and Park Association

11503 NW Military Hwy, Ste 300, San Antonio, TX 78231


e: ron.menke@alpha-fs.com
www.alphafacilities.com
LINKEDIN: www.linkedin.com/pub/ron-menke/36/1b2/158