Playground Safety Regulations

For the most part, playground safety regulations are established by two groups: the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission and ASTM International.


The CPSC is a government agency whose mission it is to ensure the good working order of a wide range of consumer products, including playground equipment. Zoning regulations in cities and states are often modeled after existing CPSC standards, so the more familiar one is with CPSC playground standards, the better acquainted one will likely be with playground-related zoning rules.

Along with being responsible for establishing playground safety standards, the CPSC is also an invaluable resource for the latest best practices as it relates to playground safety and maintenance. The mission of the CPSC is to provide information on product safety and product recalls, as well as to establish ground rules for what constitutes safe playground equipment. CPSC regulations apply to all playgrounds that can be accessed by the general public; however, playgrounds that are part of childcare facilities, churches, or building complexes will also need to ensure compliance with CPSC-based regulations.

A great resource for playground safety information, the CPSC’s website contains a plethora of data and other tools to ensure playground safety and to educate members of your community about proper playground safety procedures.

ASTM International

Formerly known as the American Society for Test and Materials, ASTM International is an organization that creates and disseminates safety standards for, among other things, commercial playground equipment. In particular, there are two primary ASTM specifications that apply to public playground equipment:

  • ASTM F1487-21: Public use play equipment for Children 2-12 years of age
    This specification pertains to safety standards for various sorts of commercial playground equipment. This rule applies to users of playground equipment who are between the ages of 2 and 12.
  • ASTM F2373-11 (R2017): Public use play equipment for children 6 months through 23 months of age
    This specification provides safety requirements for various types of public playground equipment, including composite play structures, swings, slides, and climbing structures. This specification exists to reduce the potential for debilitating injuries on public-use playgrounds.

By making yourself aware of playground safety regulations, you not only make your playground a safer place for the children who use it, you also help to safeguard yourself and your organization from lawsuits stemming from playground injuries.