Playground Safety for Children Ages Birth to 14 Years

Each day in New York State, on average, more than 16 children from birth to 14 years of age are treated at a hospital for an injury sustained from falling off playground equipment; an average of one child is injured severely enough to require hospitalization.

The good news is that you, as a parent or caregiver, can play a major role in preventing playground injuries.

What kinds of surfaces should cover the playground?

  • Areas under and around playground equipment must be covered with soft materials to help protect children from injuries to the brain and bones if they fall.
  • Acceptable playground surface materials include shredded/recycled rubber, sand, pea gravel, wood mulch, and wood chips. The minimum compressed loose-fill surfacing depth depends upon the height of the equipment and type of material.