6-Step Playground Equipment Safety Checklist


The church playground is likely a favorite spot for the children in your congregation. However, playgrounds can pose a risk of injuries, with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reporting that more than 200,000 children are treated at emergency rooms each year.1 Follow six steps in our playground equipment safety checklist to reduce these risks.

1. Use equipment designed for playgrounds.

While creating a design unique to your church may be tempting, it’s not always the safest choice. Companies that design and build playground equipment adhere to strict industry standards, which reduce the likelihood of injuries.

2. Hire professional installers.

Installing new playground equipment is not a job for do-it-yourselfers. Hiring experts for the installation decreases the likelihood of mistakes and could limit injuries.

3. Install playground safety surfacing.

Falls are the primary cause of playground injuries,1 so the material underneath and around playground equipment should be soft and shock-absorbent. Use acceptable surface materials such as woodchips, crumb rubber, engineered wood fiber, sand, mulch or pea gravel to cushion falls.2

4. Perform playground maintenance.

Clean playgrounds regularly. Be alert for hazards, such as broken glass, sharp objects or protruding components. Dirty equipment may indicate a need to keep up with routine maintenance and repairs. Walkways should be clear of trash and clutter.

5. Conduct regular playground safety inspections.

Look for worn or missing parts; loose bolts; rust; sharp edges; damaged hooks; torn or frayed safety netting or ropes; loose stitches on webbing; any exposed components that could trip, pinch or crush; splintered or cracked wood; or improperly lubricated moving parts.

6. Replace when necessary.

Remove equipment associated with frequent injuries or worn out due to weather exposure or usual wear and tear.

Find More Resources to Help Keep Your Children Safe

In addition to using a playground equipment safety checklist, help keep the children in your congregation safe with tips for inflatables and VBS planning. At GuideStone®, we help empower your ministry and people to stay protected so you can focus on your calling. For more information, contact us at InsuranceSolutions@GuideStone.org or (214) 720-2868, Monday through Thursday, from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT and Friday, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. CT.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice. Readers should use this article as a tool, along with best judgment and any terms or conditions that apply, to determine appropriate policies and procedures for your church's risk management program.