Designing Safe Playgrounds: Age-appropriate equipment, Safety surfacing, Supervision, Shade

How to Design a Safe Playground

Playgrounds offer kids fresh air, friends and fun. Unfortunately, faulty equipment and improper surfaces can also result in playground-related injuries. Each year, more than 200,000 children are treated in emergency departments for playground-related injuries.

Safe playgrounds have soft ground surface materials that cushion falls. Avoid sand, dirt and grass which may not absorb impact or are too hard to prevent serious injury. 안전놀이터

Age-appropriate equipment

A playground should be designed with age-appropriate equipment. If kids try to use equipment that is too tall for them, they may get hurt. And if the equipment is too simple, they may not be interested in it. It’s also important for adults to supervise kids while they play on the playground. If an adult sees a kid doing a daredevil stunt, they can stop the child before he or she gets hurt.

Playground equipment for children ages 2-5 should include low climbing structures, crawl tunnels, and balance beams. They should avoid overhead climbers, which aren’t safe for this age group because they require core and upper body strength that toddlers don’t have yet.

Safety surfacing

Surfaces for playgrounds must be designed to absorb shock and cushion falls. A fall on the wrong surface can lead to serious head injuries, so it’s important that surfacing is properly tested and maintained.

Loose-fill material such as wood chips or shredded rubber can provide good cushioning and is cost-effective. However, it needs to be topped up regularly. It can also disintegrate over time, leading to tripping hazards.

Unitary surfaces such as poured rubber and resilient rubber tile have a higher upfront cost but are durable and require little to no maintenance after installation. They also offer longer warranties and may offer better value in the long run.

Poured rubber surfacing is soft and doesn’t splinter, making it a safe choice for kids’ playgrounds. However, if it is not regularly inspected, the surface can shift slightly over time, creating gaps where kids could get their feet stuck.


Playgrounds are an excellent place for children to expand their imaginations and develop coordination skills. However, they can also be a dangerous place where serious accidents happen. In fact, most of the injuries that result in a trip to the emergency room at a school are due to playground equipment.

To prevent these incidents, schools need to provide adequate supervision and monitor their playgrounds regularly. Supervision is the key to keeping kids safe, and it doesn’t mean interfering with their play or stopping them from using the equipment.

Designated playground supervisors should go outside to become familiar with the equipment and the layout of the area. They should also use a scan-and-count procedure and set up a system to locate kids quickly when needed. They should also be prepared to assist with any first aid needs as necessary. Lastly, they should discuss and review safety rules with kids. These should be age-appropriate and address issues like always sliding down feet-first on slides and watching out for other children before climbing down from jungle gyms.


Kids love playing outside, but on hot and sunny days, the outdoor temperatures can become oppressive. Without shade, children could suffer heat cramps or heat exhaustion, and in extreme cases, even heat stroke. To protect children, shade should be incorporated into playgrounds as much as possible.

Playgrounds with shades keep the equipment cooler, which allows kids to stay longer and enjoy their playtime. In addition, shades help reduce harmful UV rays that can cause sunburns and overheating.

Shade structures are available in a range of color options, which helps them complement the look and feel of any playground. For example, a blue fabric and brown supports match nicely with ocean-themed playgrounds. Additionally, these shade structures can absorb rain and snow to provide temporary protection if the weather becomes inclement. They also come in a variety of mounting styles, including embedded base plates, which go partially underground, and recessed bases, which fasten the structure above ground with a metal plate system.