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Playground Safety


As children head back to school or daycare for the year, it is a good time to evaluate the condition of your playground. While injuries on playgrounds cannot be completely eliminated, they can be greatly reduced by following guidelines established by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

The CPSC has done testing and research on the many different hazards that a playground presents and have found ways to reduce these hazards through playground design to help protect children of all ages. Whether you are designing a new playground or you are checking to see if your current one is safe, the CPSC Public Safety Handbook should be consulted!

  • Install a protective surface underneath all playground equipment to reduce likeliness of serious head injuries
    • Protective surfacing should extend 6 feet in all directions around the playground equipment.
    • Swings should have protective surfacing in front and back of the swing to a distance that is twice the height of the bar from which the swing is suspended.
  • Check equipment such as nuts, bolts, caps, chains, and cables periodically and replace if needed. Surface mats and loose-fill surfacing should be maintained at their appropriate level.
  • Openings in guardrails or ladders need to be smaller than 3 ½” to prevent entry of a small child’s body, or larger than 9”.
    • There should be no openings that can trap a child’s head or neck, such as openings in guardrails or ladders.
  • Playground equipment should be anchored to the ground
  • NO ropes, pet leashes, or cords of any kind should be attached to playset
    • All climbing ropes should be anchored at both ends
  • Anchors should be buried or covered to prevent tripping
  • Platforms and ramps over 30” high need to have guards or barriers to prevent falls
  • All sharp points or edges should be repaired
  • Replace missing hardware
    • Protruding bolts should be removed, and “S” hooks that can cause injuries should be closed.

For all of the guidelines on Playgrounds or for more information the full Public Playground Safety Handbook provided by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission can be viewed at

The IMT Loss Control Department has resources available to help our agents and insureds in their efforts to reduce exposures and injuries while promoting safety at the workplace and in the home. Please contact our office at ext. 874 if you have an insured you think could benefit from additional information or a loss control visit!


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