Playground Safety Certification Standards

Playground Safety Certification Standards

Playground safety is something parents take for granted. We assume that any park and playground we take our children to will be safe enough for them to swing, climb, slide and otherwise play on without being injured. Why can we take for granted that the equipment and soft playground surfaces provided for children will be safe? Salt Lake City has taken safety at their beautiful parks and playgrounds very seriously and always seeks to be up-to-date on safety information.

“There are several non-profit trade organizations that have set standards for the industry that provides playground equipment, even down to the soft surfaces that are used in play areas.

If the equipment and materials meet certain standards they can earn certificates of safety. Sof’Fall engineered wood fiber and engineered rubber is in compliance with these safety standards and have earned their respective seal of approval.

Industry Safety Standards for public playground surfaces have been set by safety organizations such as the International Playground Equipment manufacturers Association (IPEMA) and others. Sof’Fall meets or exceeds these standards.

The International Playground Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA) is one of the organizations that promotes safety and play, and provides certification for playground equipment and soft surfaces materials. They seek to uphold the consistency of compliance to standards that are proven to be safe. Members include manufacturers of playground equipment and surfacing materials, as well as consultants and suppliers related to safe playground materials. They provide their members with timely, in-depth information about their industry. IPEMA actively promotes the benefits of children’s play and playgrounds. They sponsor a website, www.voiceofplay.org, for parents and kids, as well as anyone who has an interest in the safety of playgrounds for children. The website provides excellent information and other resources relating to this topic.

The National Playground Safety Institute is a branch of the National Park and Recreation Association and offers continuing education programs to recreation professionals and to the public. NPSI was the first national clearinghouse and information resource available to the public about playgrounds. They devised the most inclusive playground safety inspector-training program worldwide. The training teaches participants to identify playground hazards by the use of probes and gauges designed for performing playground safety audits and routine inspections.

Prior to NPSI, safety and inspection information did not spread and was not being distributed by any organized method. During the 1980s educating the people who were in charge of playground equipment was very difficult and sometimes fell on deaf ears. Thanks for NPSI even most PTA presidents are now aware of safety issues for playgrounds.

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) provides resources to professionals and advocates of safe playground materials in all communities. They help to provide education, networking, resources and certification to playground operators to help monitor and improve playground safety. Playground Inspection Kits provide the necessary equipment to check for neck and head entrapment, as well as entanglement and protrusion hazards on playgrounds. It was developed to meet Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines. It also provides projection gauges, head and torso probes, fish probe and a carrying bag.

Thanks to these organizations parents and care-givers can go to almost any park or playground and know that they and their children will not encounter any hazard or life-threatening danger. There are safe, fun parks throughout every community in the United States. Salt Lake City is one of the best known cities for their love of outdoor recreation, and provides plenty of parks and playgrounds for their residents.

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