Playground Safety Standards

Here at, we base our best practices on the well-researched guidelines and standards of national playground safety organizations. When it comes to playground safety standards, there are three acronyms one should keep in mind: CPSC, ASTM, and ADA.


Commonly abbreviated as CPSC, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission is a federal agency whose mission it is to protect consumers from the pitfalls of faulty consumer products. In addition to providing information on product recalls and hazardous products, they offer safety education guidelines on a wide array of product types, including playground equipment.

City and state regulations surrounding playgrounds are often modeled after existing CPSC regulations, making it all the more crucial to familiarize yourself with these rules to avoid running afoul of state and/or local governments. Generally speaking, these regulations apply to all publicly-accessible playgrounds; however, playgrounds that are part of childcare facilities, churches, or building complexes will also need to ensure compliance with CPSC-based regulations. To ensure all your bases are covered, check local zoning regulations to determine the specific stipulations for your playground.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is a great source for valuable information on playground safety and maintenance. Along with information on common playground dangers, the CPSC’s site contains a plethora of useful tools and resources to help educate your community members about playground safety procedures.


ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Test and Materials, is an international standards organization that dictates safety standards for a variety of consumer products, including commercial playground equipment. More specifically, there are a few specifications pertaining to playground equipment that playground owners and operators should familiarize themselves with:

  • ASTM F1487-21: Public use play equipment for Children 2-12 years of age
    This specification pertains to safety and performance standards for various sorts of commercial playground equipment. Generally speaking, 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 performance and 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.


Passed in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act is a civil rights law that outlaws discrimination based on disability. For playground owners, the ADA contains several pertinent regulations that should be paid attention to. Some common playground-related issues covered by the ADA include:

  • Properly accessible pathways between different play equipment
  • Adequate surfacing (both loose-fill and poured-in-place)
  • Proper width of routes between play equipment
  • Inclusion of proper transfer stations at the base of play structures
  • Inclusion of handrails on elevated ramps
  • Inclusion of accessible ground-level activities