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Source: Trauma Clinic at UPMC Hamot


Use this inspection tool to help you identify some of the leading hazards known to cause playground injuries to children.

Does the equipment have an appropriate surfacing material beneath and around it?
Wood mulch, chips; shredded tires or sand

Does each piece of equipment have an adequate fall zone?
Minimum of 6’ from perimeter of equipment

Is playground equipment free of points, edges, or other protrusions that could catch a child’s loose clothing or something worn loosely around the neck?
No sharp points, corners, or edges; no splinters

Is playground equipment free of openings that could trap a child’s head?
Distance between any interior opposing surfaces is < 3.5” and < 9”

Are anchoring devices below ground and covered with dirt?
Any anchoring devices must be buried deep enough that they will not pose a trip hazard or cause injury if a child falls on one.

Is playground equipment anchored securely?
All pieces of playground equipment must be securely anchored.

Are swing seats soft & flexible?
Children can be seriously hurt if hit with a hard swing seat.

Are elevated platforms surrounded by guardrails or protective barriers of the appropriate height?
Preschool > 29”
School age > 38”

Are sliding boards shaded or facing north?
Burns can result from sliding boards that absorb the heat of the sun.

Are individual vertically suspended climbing ropes securely anchored to a footing at the lower end?
Unsecured ropes can loop back and form a noose.

Are periodic inspections conducted of the playground equipment for deterioration?
Up keep of playground is vitally important to maintain the safety integrity of the equipment.