The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) provides the following consumer information for your Home Playground Equipment
Information on Playground Surfacing Materials:
The U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that about 100,000 playground equipment-related injuries resulting from falls to the ground surface are treated annually in U. S. hospital emergency rooms. Injuries involving this hazard pattern tend to be among the most serious of all playground injuries, and have the potential to be fatal, particularly when the injury is to the head. The surface under and around playground equipment can be a major factor in determining the injury-causing potential of a fall. It is self evident that a fall onto a shock-absorbing surface is less likely to cause a serious injury than a fall onto a hard surface.
Playground equipment should never be placed on hard surfaces such as concrete or asphalt and while grass may appear to be acceptable it may quickly turn to hard packed earth in areas of high traffic. Shredded bark mulch, wood chips, fine sand or fine gravel are considered to be acceptable shock-absorbing surfaces when installed and maintained at a sufficient depth under and around playground equipment.
The table below lists the maximum height from which a child would not be expected to sustain a life-threatening head injury in a fall onto four different loose-fill surfacing materials if they are installed and maintained at depths of 9 and 12 inches. However, it should be recognized that all injuries due to falls cannot be prevented no matter what surfacing material is used.
It is recommended that shock-absorbing material should extend a minimum of six feet in all directions from the perimeter of stationary equipment such as climbers and slides. However, because children may deliberately jump from a moving swing, the shock- absorbing material should extend in the front and rear of a swing a minimum distance of two times the height of the pivot point measured from a point directly beneath the pivot on the supporting structure.
This information is intended to assist in comparing the relative shock-absorbing properties of various materials. No particular material is recommended over another. However, each material is only effective when properly maintained. Materials should be checked periodically and replenished to maintain correct depth as determined necessary for your equipment. The choice of a material depends on the type and height of the playground equipment, the availability of the material in your area, and its cost.
SHOCK-ABSORBING SURFACING MATERIAL CHART
PlayStar Playsets require fall-height protection from nine feet. This is the height from which a life-threatening head injury would not be expected, provided proper materials and depths are used as indicated below:
|When Using This Material:
||Apply to this Depth*:
|Double-Shredded Bark Mulch.....................
*These depths were derived from the CPSC Handbook. PlayStar has not done independent tests to determine these required depths.
- Follow the instructions provided, do not alter its design in any way.
- Place the playset on level ground, not less than 6' (1.8m) from any structure or obstruction such as a fence, garage, house, overhanging branches, laundry lines or electrical wires. If the area where you will be installing your playset is not level, you must make it level.
- Do not install the playset over concrete, asphalt, packed earth, grass, carpet or any other hard surface. A fall onto a hard surface can result in serious injury to the equipment user.
- Playsets must be anchored to the ground. Follow the anchoring instructions provided with your building kit.If soil conditions permit anchors to be pulled out easily, such as in sandy soil conditions, cementing is required.
- Tighten all bolts securely to the intended member then cut off all protruding threaded ends of bolts with a hack saw fl flush to the end of the nut and remove sharp edges with a metal file.
- Once the playset is completely assembled and before children are allowed to play on it, proper shock-absorbing surfacing material must be installed.
Observing and following statements and warnings reduces the likelihood of serious or fatal injury.
- On-site adult supervision is recommended for children of all ages.
- Only one child, for each single planned seat or single planned activity should be allowed on this set at one time, with a maximum weight of 105 pounds for each child.
- WARNING: You must teach children the following:
- Not to walk close to, in front of, behind, or between moving items.
- Not to twist swing chains or ropes or loop them over the top support bar since this may reduce the strength of the chain or rope.
- Avoid swinging empty seats.
- To Sit in the center of the swings with their full weight on the seats.
- Not to use the equipment in a manner other than intended.
- Not to get off equipment while it is in motion.
- Not to climb when equipment is wet.
- Not to attach items to the playground equipment that are not specifically designed for use with the equipment such as, but not limited to, jump ropes, clothesline, pet leashes, cables and chain as they may cause a strangulation hazard.
- Remove helmets before using play equipment as the helmet may become entrapped in an enclosed opening and cause a strangulation hazard.
- Verify that suspended climbing ropes are secured at both ends and that they cannot be looped back on themselves. (A rope that is not taut enough may cause a strangulation hazard.)
- Dress children appropriately. Provide well fitting shoes. Avoid ponchos, scarves, and other loose-fitting clothing which is potentially hazardous while using equipment.
- Verify that all suspended swinging components have at least 8" clearance between the lowest point of component and top of shock-absorbing surfacing material.
WARNING: Lawn swings are designed for use by children two years of age and older. Use by children under the age of two can result in entrapment between the seat and back area. NEVER place children in a rearward facing position or with legs between the seat and backrest because the child’s body may pass through the opening causing entrapment of the child’s head.
- Check all nuts and bolts, twice monthly, during the usage season for tightness and tighten as required. It is particularly important that this procedure be followed at the beginning of each season.
- Remove plastic swing seats and take indoors, or do not use when the temperature drops below 0° F.
- Oil all metallic moving parts monthly during the usage period.
- Check all hardware and equipment for sharp edges twice monthly during usage season and replace when necessary. It is especially important to do this at the beginning of each new season.
- Check all ropes for signs of deterioration such as loosening or fraying twice monthly during usage season and tighten or replace when necessary. It is especially important to do this at the beginning of each new season.
- Check swing seats and chains monthly during usage season. Replacement should be made if there is evidence of deterioration.
- If any of these conditions exist, call 1-888-752-9782 for ordering information.
- Clean plastic components with warm water and a mild detergent such as dish soap.
- When the playset is to be retired from service, disassemble and dispose of in such a way that no unreasonable hazards will exist. Follow your local disposal requirements.