Playground Safety for School Children

Most modern playgrounds have two separate areas: one for children 2–5 years of age and one for children 5–12 years of age. To help prevent playground injuries, do not allow your child to play on structures that are not designed for his or her age group.

Important aspects of playground safety include the following:

  • Use safe and appropriate-sized play structures.
  • Provide adequate supervision.
  • Make sure your child knows and follows playground safety rules.

To help prevent playground injuries:

  • Check any metal parts and surfaces before allowing children to play. (Metal components become hot in the sun and can cause burns.)
  • Always watch children on playground equipment. Do not allow rough play, pushing, or play fighting. Prevent children from walking in front of swings.
  • Insist that children use equipment only as intended:
    • Slide feet first
    • No standing or twisting on swings
    • No climbing outside of guardrails
  • Make sure bicycles, backpacks, and other items are a safe distance from play structures to prevent tripping.
  • Never attach ropes such as jump ropes, dog leashes, or clotheslines to playground equipment.
  • Make sure playground is surrounded by an energy absorbent surface. Suitable materials include wood chips, sand, bark mulch, or shredded rubber.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 27 Aug 2008

Last Modified: 05 Oct 2015