Playground Safety Standards




Our Commitment to Safety

Kids love testing the limit. We make sure the odds are in their favor for every obstacle they face. When we start brainstorming a new product concept, safety is always at the forefront. It shapes the way we design, engineer, and manufacture each piece of equipment. From the big-picture concept to the smallest design details, we’re committed to creating playgrounds that allow kids to play safely and parents to breathe easy.

Whether kids are collaborating to solve activity panels or reaching the apex of a playground climber, we’re committed to providing an environment that’s as safe as possible. Each of our play structures meets or exceeds the industry’s established performance safety specifications.

Little Tikes Commercial takes this commitment one step further by directly participating in the standard development process. We take the time to consider the safety of each individual equipment piece as well as the playground’s layout and design.

Creating Challenging and Safe Playgrounds

Finding the perfect balance between safety and challenge requires an expert eye. At Little Tikes Commercial, safety comes first. We design our inclusive playgrounds with the goal of empowering children to develop and flourish through play. Often, this involves encouraging them to face challenges and overcome obstacles, gaining confidence in their physical and cognitive abilities.

We accomplish this through age and ability-appropriate playgrounds, which allow children to challenge themselves while feeling secure as they play. We minimize any potential risks or hazards by increasing safety measures, ensuring soft material covers along with stable structures, and carefully calculating heights and distances. Within this structure, kids have the chance to explore and test their limits.

Creating Challenging and Safe Playgrounds

Finding the perfect balance between safety and challenge requires an expert eye. At Little Tikes Commercial, safety comes first. We design our inclusive playgrounds with the goal of empowering children to develop and flourish through play. Often, this involves encouraging them to face challenges and overcome obstacles, gaining confidence in their physical and cognitive abilities.

We accomplish this through age and ability-appropriate playgrounds, which allow children to challenge themselves while feeling secure as they play. We minimize any potential risks or hazards by increasing safety measures, ensuring soft material covers along with stable structures, and carefully calculating heights and distances. Within this structure, kids have the chance to explore and test their limits.

Little Tikes Commercial Playground Safety Checklist

In order to address safety concerns with each of our play structures, Little Tikes Commercial follows a set of playground safety guidelines. Our checklist includes several factors such as:

Playground users: One of the first things we ask ourselves is, who will be using the playground? To be both safe and effective, the playground must be appropriately designed for the age and ability of its users. Toddlers and young children will use different equipment than older kids, and may require separate areas entirely. We intentionally design inclusive playgrounds that are accessible and safe for kids of all abilities.

Surfacing safety: Protective surfacing is one of the best ways to decrease the risk of injury. Surfacing differs depending on the specific playground but may include deep loose-fill materials, rubber mulch, resilient tiles, a unitary safety surface, or a combination of these. The most frequently used zones often use loose-fill material, with rubber tile pathways to create accessibility for children in wheelchairs.

Environmental conditions: Outdoor play comes with environmental challenges. To prevent sun-related issues, we advise setting up a playground in the shade. To minimize water damage or slipping due to rain, we recommend ensuring there is a good water drainage system in place.

Regulations: Our checklist includes strict adherence to industry regulations and certifications. We ensure that each of our equipment pieces goes above and beyond to follow established safety standards.

Playground Safety Guidelines and Standards

Before crafting or constructing a playground, we consider the many national established playground safety standards that ensure kids can play outside with minimal risk possible. These playground equipment standards include:

ASTM

American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) is an independent, internationally known society responsible for developing technical standards used to test products. They’ve created a set of specifications for playground equipment safety performance standards called F1487. We follow ASTM regulations and playground standards closely when designing each of our equipment pieces.

CSA

Canadian Standard Association (CSA) is an independent organization dedicated to providing a forum to openly discuss and facilitate creating national standards for the sake of consistency across the board.

TÜV Product Service

TÜV Product Service leads the way on an international level when it comes to tests and certifications. European Standard EN1176 is a recent combined European Standard when it comes to safe Commercial Playground Equipment. Using the TÜV certification mark signifies the product’s quality and observance of strict safety guidelines.

ASTM – F1487 CPSC CAN /CSA-Z614 EN 1176

Our lines of playground equipment, including KidBuilders®, SkyBuilders™, PlayBuilders®, MaxPlay® Systems, and PlayCenters equipment, have each been tested and found to conform with safety guidelines and requirements established by ASTM Standard F1487, excluding sections 7.11, 10 and 12.6.1& ASTM F2373. The process of validation is ongoing in light of the continual stream of new products being validated and approved. Visit the IPEMA website to verify approval of our products and learn more about established safety guidelines.

CPSC

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is the creator of safety guidelines designed to help schools, daycare centers, local communities, and corporations construct safe playgrounds. The Handbook for Public Playground Safety, first published in 1981, includes a series of safety standards delineating how to properly design, construct, operate, and maintain public playgrounds.

IPEMA – IMEPA Certified

PlayPower LT Farmington, Inc. is a member of the International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA), a global organization committed to helping facilitate an open and transparent market for play equipment manufacturers.

As part of its commitment to safe playground standards, IPEMA provides a Third Party Certification Service, which requires a selected independent laboratory to validate each participant’s certification of compliance to ASTM F1487, Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Playground Equipment for Public Use, except sections 7.11, 10 & 12.6.1; CAN/CSA Z614, Children’s Playspaces and Equipment, except clauses 9.5, 10 & 11; or both. 

Little Tikes Commercial Play Structures’ use of a corresponding logo represents that we have received official validation in writing from the independent laboratory, stating that each product using the logo meets the relevant standard requirements. Visit the IPEMA’s website to verify each product validation and learn more about this certification process.

Blue, green and purple playground

Expert Installation, Inspection and Maintenance

We ensure our equipment meets playground safety standards in the design and manufacturing process, and encourage continued safety with quality installation and regular inspection and maintenance. To ensure a safe installation, we provide detailed instructions and layout drawings for your equipment and recommend that you hire a certified installer.

Once installed, we advise that you schedule a safety audit and regular preventative maintenance inspections. A one-time safety audit should be conducted by someone who has received training as a National Playground Safety Institute’s Certified Playground Safety Inspector. Preventative maintenance will help care for any equipment that may become damaged or worn down over time, replacing or repairing them before they become a safety concern. These inspections should be specific and strive to handle potential issues before they become risks, creating a safe playground environment.

Designing Safe Playgrounds for Kids of All Ages

In accordance with safety standards, Little Tikes Commercial takes the extra measure to create play areas that are both safe and satisfying. Many of our play structures feature:

  • Linked play structures with decks and play activities designed to be age-appropriate for the body size and play needs of the intended age range.
  • Independent play areas, including swings, climbers, and spinners, that provide a physical challenge.
  • Adequately spaced sports equipment with thick netting.

You can view several examples of structures that go above and beyond to increase safety. These include our exclusive Fun Wheels, a design with a stationary rung to provide added stability as kids transition from deck to wheels. We have also created the Dragon Fly, which features a fully contained mechanical smart-stop to eliminate potential pinch points and keep kids from falling.

Contact Little Tikes Commercial to Learn More

To discover more about Little Tikes Commercial products and processes, please feel free to reach out. As a trusted provider of fun, development-focused play structures, we’d love to answer your questions and walk you through the safety features of our designs. Fill out our contact form or request a quote to get started today!

SAFETY FEATURES EXAMPLES

CLIMBERS
CLIMBERS
Our climbers are designed to help provide a safe, more comfortable climbing experience.
FUN WHEELS
FUN WHEELS
Our Fun Wheels exclusive design includes a stationary rung that provides stability when transitioning from deck to wheels.
DRAGON FLY
DRAGON FLY
The Dragon Fly features a fully contained mechanical "smart-stop" preventing users from hitting the ground and eliminating pinch points.

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