Archive for Sunday, May 24, 1998

THE U.S. CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION OFFERS THE FOLLOWING PLAYGROUND SAFETY TIPS:

May 24, 1998

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* Protective surface -- Surfacing under and around all equipment is critical. Asphalt and concrete are unacceptable. Grass and turf shouldn't be used. Try synthetic padding or fine gravel or sand, double-shredded bark mulch and wood chips.

  • Fall zones -- A zone covered with a protective surfacing material should extend six feet in all directions for stationary climbing equipment and slides. The zone for swings ought to extend twice the height of the swing support structure.
  • Swing spacing -- No more than two swing seats suspended in the same section or bay of the support structure. The gap between adjacent swing seats should be at least 24 inches. Thirty inches should separate a swing seat from another structural component.
  • Elevated surfaces -- Platforms more than 30 inches above the ground should have guardrails.
  • Head entrapment -- Openings between 3.5 inches and 9 inches present a head entrapment hazard because they are large enough to permit a child's body to go through and too small to permit the head to go through.
  • Entanglement hazards -- Open ``S'' hooks, especially on swings, and any protrusions that may act as hooks or catch-points can catch children's clothing and cause strangulation incidents.

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