Here’s How To Prevent Playground Injuries With Good Design And Safety Surfacing

There’s no doubt how helpful playgrounds are when it comes to enhancing kids’ physical, mental, and social abilities. But as more youngsters are encouraged to use such space, owners and designers should ensure that their playgrounds are safe.

With proper design — including investing in playground safety surfacing — you can prevent playground users from having injuries. This article aims to give light to this topic.

Playground Safety Surfaces

Around 75 to 80% of playground injuries are attributed to falls. This is why one of the most fundamental aspects of a well-designed playground is having a safety surface. The most common types of playground surfaces include:


Wood chips


Shredded rubber

Rubber mats

Poured-in-place rubber surfacing

Experts recommend having at least 12 inches of playground safety surfacing to effectively reduce the impact of a fall. Take note that the taller the equipment (e.g. Slides, monkey bars), the deeper the surfacing should be. Moreover, the playground surfacing should also extend around 2 meters beyond the equipment.

To further make the surfacing optimally safe, it should be free of water. When designing a playground, make sure to include putting proper drainage systems in place.

It’s also worthy to know which surfaces should never be used or found beneath any playground equipment. These include concrete, asphalt, grass, sharp rocks, and packed dirt. These materials are not shock-absorbent and may only worsen the fall.

More Safety Tips

Apart from incorporating playground safety surfacing into the design, here are more safety tips playground owners should observe if they want to build a safe playing space for children.

Observe proper spacing among playground equipment. Make sure all equipment is easily and safely accessible. One way to strategically layout your equipment is to group them according to the age bracket of its users. You should also distribute frequently used equipment to avoid overcrowding.

Invest in and install proper playground equipment. The star of the playground is the set of equipment it has. It’s wiser to invest in quality playground equipment and pay more than settle for cheap ones that have the risk of putting its users in danger. Proper installation and anchorage to the ground should also be observed. Don’t forget to provide shade to serve as protection against UV rays.

Put up easily noticeable and readable playground signs. From labels indicating which age brackets are allowed to use certain equipment to those reminding about the proper use of the equipment, playground signs should be put up throughout the space.

Make sure the playground is free of visual barriers. The fence around your playground should only be tall enough to separate the space from the surrounding areas. It should not act as a visual barrier that can hinder parents and guardians from looking after the users.

A safe playground doesn’t end in having and executing a good design. What’s more important is how to maintain the space once it becomes open for use. As a playground owner, you should regularly inspect and clean your playground equipment and get rid of any hazards (e.g. Sharp objects, broken glass). Ensuring all equipment is in good working condition is also of paramount importance.

For decades, General Recreation has been a trusted source for top-quality playground equipment and playground safety surfacing. Contact us today for more information!

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