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Home Playground Equipment

JULY 09, 2007

U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff is supporting voluntary standard activities for ASTM F1148 Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Home Playground Equipment. Past CPSC staff recommendations include those which address the potential for falls from and impact with equipment, the need for protective surfacing under and around equipment, openings with the potential for head entrapment, strangulation hazards, and other design features related to user age, layout of equipment, installation and maintenance procedures, and general hazards presented by protrusions, sharp edges, and pinch points.

A 2001 special study of playground-related injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms indicated that there were nearly 47,000 home playground related injuries – roughly 23 percent of reported injuries associated with all categories of playground equipment in 1999. A majority of injuries (81%) were related to falls from equipment, and fractures were the most commonly reported injury. About two-thirds of the injuries involving home equipment occurred on swings. Fatal injuries reported to the Commission involved entanglement of clothing or other items; entanglement in ropes, cords, or leashes; head or neck entrapment in narrow spaces; impact from falls from equipment; and impact from equipment tipover or structural failure. Deaths from impact with moving swings are now rare.

The staff continues to work to develop strategies to reduce deaths and injuries associated with home playground equipment. The subcommittee is addressing issues associated with loading for climbers and slides, overlapping play patterns and use zones, and structural integrity for certain types of equipment not already addressed in the standard.

Safety Handbook: CPSC developed the Outdoor Home Playground Safety Handbook to address hazards associated with residential playgrounds. This handbook highlights the most important safety information that consumers need to plan, construct, and maintain an outdoor home playground. This handbook is intended as guidance for playgrounds at homes and residential child care facilities.

Additional Information

Safety Alerts:

  • Strangulation Hazard with Playground Cargo Nets (HTML) (PDF)

Press Releases:

  • Statement from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on Home Playground Safety (HTML)

Fact Sheets:

Incident Data:

  • Special Study: Injuries and Deaths Associated with Children’s Playground Equipment (PDF)

CPSC Staff Reports, Memoranda and Contracts:

ASTM International

Contact CPSC

Report an unsafe product