SAFER BACKYARDS DESIGN SAFETY FOR ALL
5 Equipment must be firmly anchored to
the ground to prevent tipping.
5 Ropes, cables and chains must be
anchored at both ends.
Swing seats must be made of shock-
absorbent material (not metal or wood).
Watch out for crush or shear points in
equipment with moving parts such as
teeter totters, track rides and merry-go-
rounds. Fingers or skin could become
entrapped, crushed or cut.
5 Watch out for head and neck
entrapments. Spaces between steps
and railings might be big enough for
your child's body but may trap his or her
SAFER BACKYARDS: head or neck, causing strangulation.
Safe spaces are smaller than 9
5 When purchasing backyard play centimetres (3½ inches) and larger than
equipment choose equipment that is
22.5 centimetres (9 inches).
designed for your child’s age.
5 Playgrounds built to meet CSA Standard
5 Install play equipment at least 1.8
(Canadian Standards Association)
metres (6 feet) away from fences, trees
showed a 49% decrease in injuries.
and other objects onto which children
may fall or run into. QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS?
5 Allow sufficient space for children to
circulate around the equipment.
5 Grass and dirt or any hard compacted Talk to a public
surfacing is not safe. Protective Environmental
surfacing (i.e. sand, pea gravel, Help Line
woodchips, etc.) should be located 1-888-777-9613 or
beneath and at least 1.8 metres 905-723-3818 ext. 2188
MONDAY TO FRIDAY 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
surrounding any play equipment. It is
recommended that protective surfacing
be at least 30 centimetres (12 inches) in
Regularly inspect the play equipment
Safety Tips for
and protective surfacing to ensure they
are in good condition.
The playspace must have good
Information in this pamphlet was obtained from:
A Step Ahead at the Playground, York Region
Canadian Institute for Health Information www.cihi.ca
Canadian Paediatric Society www.caringforkids.cps.ca
Canadian Standards Association CAN/CSA-Z614-07
Ontario Injury Prevention Resource Centre www.oninjuryresources.ca
drainage to prevent water from ponding.
5 Choose a shaded area if possible.
Safe Kids Canada www.safekidscanada.ca
DUHEV-401 Dec09 www.durham.ca
The Durham Region WHAT YOU CAN DO: 3. Check your child
Health Department is
actively involved with 5 Use a neck warmer instead of a scarf
1. Learn how injuries can occur and mitten clips rather than cords.
school boards, licenced 5 Children may not see the danger in what Loose clothing can get trapped in
day cares and other they are doing and may forget the equipment and may cause
stakeholders in the safety rules when excited. strangulation.
community to promote safe 5 Children may be influenced by older 5 Bicycle helmets should not be worn by
outdoor playgrounds. An kids as they strive to be the biggest, children while on play equipment. Their
inspection program exists in Durham fastest and the best! head may get trapped as the helmet
Region to ensure that public outdoor 5 Preschoolers are may be too big to pull through an
playgrounds are safe for our children. at a stage of opening and may cause strangulation.
development 5 Do not allow the use of skipping ropes
This pamphlet is designed to help identify where they are on play equipment. Ropes may become
unsafe outdoor playground equipment and prone to falls. entangled around a child’s neck and the
potential hazards at municipal parks, They cannot equipment which may cause
schools, day cares, condominiums, anticipate the strangulation.
apartment buildings and backyards. speed and
direction of 4. Check the playground
THE FACTS: moving objects, 5 Look for signs/labels indicating the
5 Most recent emergency department and have difficulty appropriate age group that the
statistics show that 51% of all visits due stopping or changing direction rapidly. equipment is intended for:
to playground injuries in Ontario involve 5 School-aged children are at a peak age • 18 months to 5 years (Preschool)
fractures of the upper limbs, such as a for risk taking and they do not worry • 5 to 12 years (School-age)
broken arm, wrist or elbow. Head about getting hurt. They can climb, run, 5 Ensure that the playspace and
injuries were second highest at 22%. jump, slide and have a strong social equipment is free from hazards such
5 Children aged 5-9 were most at risk for drive to perform. as broken glass, splinters, sharp edges,
both emergency room visits (54%) and loose/broken parts, nails and bolts that
hospital admissions (61%) due to 2. Educate and supervise stick out, etc.
playground injuries. 5 Educate children on the proper use of 5 Ensure that the protective surfacing
5 Falls from heights greater than play equipment such as waiting their beneath and surrounding the equipment
1.5 metres (5 feet) double the risk of turn, feet first down slides, and not is soft and deep, such as sand, pea
severe injury for children of all ages. standing in front of gravel, wood chips or rubber that will
5 Backyard playgrounds account for swings or near help absorb a child’s fall. Grass, dirt,
20% of all the exit region asphalt, concrete or any hard
playground of slides. compacted surfacing are not safe.
injuries. 5 Actively 5 In the winter, structures can become
supervise dangerous when covered in snow and
children at ice. In freezing conditions, the shock
all times to absorbency of the protective surfacing
prevent injuries. is greatly reduced. Children should not
play on playground equipment under