Playground Safety :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Playground Safety

The questions and answers in this brochure are designed to help you, as a parent, to make healthy and safe choices for your children.

Should I be concerned about playground safety?

Yes! Each year, over 200,000 children are treated in hospital emergency departments as a result of playground-related injuries. That equals one child every two minutes.

What is the most common cause of playground injury?

Falls account for three-fourths of all playground injuries. Having a cushioned surface under and around playground equipment is the best way to prevent these injuries.

What are some other ways that children are injured while playing on the playground?

  • Running into equipment or being struck by swings.
  • Cut, pinch, or crush injuries.
  • Loose clothing, scarves, or drawstrings become caught in equipment causing a child to choke.
  • The sun can cause equipment to get too hot for children to play on and cause burns.

What are some playground hazards parents and children should watch out for?

  • Playground surfaces that are too hard, such as concrete, pavement, packed earth or grass.
  • High surfaces without guardrails or barriers.
  • Spaces that could trap a child’s head.
  • Sharp points and edges.
  • Loose, broken, or missing parts.
  • Trip hazards.
  • Not enough spacing between equipment.
  • Lack of adult supervision.

Anything else I need to know?

Yes. Bicycle helmets should always be worn when cycling, but should never be worn when playing on playground equipment. The helmet can become caught in the equipment and cause a child to choke.

For more information on playground safety

Contact the Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Columbus® (IFCK), a program of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital at (614) 722-2400 or NationwideChildrens.org/injuryresearch. Or contact the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) at 800-638-2772, or http://www.cpsc.gov to receive a copy of the “CPSC Handbook for Playground Safety” and other safety-related materials.

Playground Safety Brochure (PDF)

For more information, visit:

Center for Injury Research and Policy Playground Safety

Playground Safety Article

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000