Playground Equipment Safety Testing

During the summer, a park with playground equipment is a draw for children and parents alike. While children love them and obtain the badly needed exercise, parents on the sidelines often worry about their children playing on playground equipment like...

by | Jan 16, 2023

playground equipment safety testing

What kind of testing is done on playground equipment to ensure their safety?

During the summer, a park with playground equipment is a draw for children and parents alike. While children love them and obtain the badly needed exercise, parents on the sidelines often worry about their children playing on playground equipment like slides, swing sets, climbing walls, and obstacle courses. Are playgrounds safe and what testing is done to ensure they are? If your company manufactures playground equipment, what testing do you need to do to ensure it is safe?

In 2014, the Consumer Products Safety Commission, CPSC, looked at the data for incidents and injuries involving playground equipment dating back to 2009. They looked at all age groups and found a total of 3,014 incidents had occurred (2,758 or 92%). The majority of incidents included children aged 5-9 years. The most common injury associated with playground equipment was falls which accounted for 81% of incidents reported.

From 2009 to 2014, there were 34 reported deaths associated with playground equipment with 97% of victims under age 16. Most deaths came as a result of head and neck injuries. According to the CPSCs report, slides and swings were the most likely pieces of equipment to cause an accident or injury. (Click here to read the CPSC report in its entirety.)

As technology has evolved, new styles of playground equipment and surfaces have become the standard. ASTM has developed several voluntary safety and performance standards for playground equipment, including the surfaces under the play equipment which have standards for impact. The safety of individual pieces of equipment should be tested for safety according to ASTM standards and then the layout and playground as a whole should be tested including the surface beneath the structure as falls are common. Safety standards check that the equipment minimizes the risk of falls, contains an appropriate surface beneath the play structure to reduce head impact, reduces the number and size of openings where a child’s head could become stuck, has age-appropriate levels for toddler, preschool, and school-aged children, and is free of general hazards like sharp objects and edges.

The following are playground or play equipment test requests that Contract Laboratory has helped facilitate testing for:

  • Playground equipment manufacturers planning on entering the USA market need a product safety laboratory for playground equipment testing: ASTM norms (ASTM F1148& ASTM F1487)? Please, find the list of products enclosed. There are 39 products altogether: 36 for residential home playgrounds and 3 for commercial playgrounds. Also, some of the products have several color variants. We would like to receive from you an offer for all necessary documentation required to sell our products in the U.S.A. It is very important for us to receive the calculations as fast as possible. I would like to receive the total costs of certification and start cooperation with you as soon as possible so should you need any further information, please feel free to ask.
  • USA Consumer Products Safety Laboratory needed for ASTM testing of home playground equipment as per ASTM f963-08 astm f1148 and 16cfr.
  • Materials lab needed for ASTM Testing: Impact attenuation of surfacing materials within the use zone of playground equipment
  • Toy Manufacturer needs a product safety laboratory for ASTM (ASTMF1148) testing of home playground equipment
  • Environmental simulation laboratory needed for accelerated weathering testing of a mini-installation of a playground made from glued playground tiles. Weathering simulation should include water submersion to simulate outdoor exposure to weather.
  • USA Consumer Products Safety certification laboratory is needed for certification testing to certify wood pallet mulch(soft and hardwood) for use as playground mulch. I need to know what the criteria are. I will only supply the mulch and therefore would not be required to abide by any rule as to how thick it must be laid down etc. I just need to know what is required to certify and where I go to do it.
  • California Product Safety Laboratory needed for ASTM Testing. Testing the safety-compliance of Engineered Wood Fiber intended for playground use to 1)ASTM F1292-092)ASTM F19513)ASTM F2075-10a4)lab-recommended flammability test
  • US Consumer Products Laboratory needed for ASTM Testing of Playground Rubber Safety Surfaces to ASTM C1549 – 09 Standard Test Method for Determination of Solar Reflectance Please advise as to how much the average cost of the test will be and how we would go about having the test completed.
  • Eastern USA environmental, consumer products laboratory needed for ASTM Testing of playground mulch to ASTM f 2075-04 and ASTM f 1292 standards
  • Taiwanese rubber tile manufacturer requires a Laboratory (preferably Asia) that can perform Impact Absorbing Playground Surfacing testing according to EN1177 standards.
  • Asian Materials Laboratory needed to test rubber flooring products (rubber tiles for the playground) in accordance with BS EN1177 standard
  • View more children’s product test requests

If you are looking for a lab to test that your playground equipment or playground surface material meets the necessary safety standards, let us help you! Call today at 1-855-377-6821 or submit a request online!


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