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Playground Safety

Playground checklist

​​​​​​Safe playgrounds help reduce the risk of injury to children. This YES test helps you to check that your child is ready for safe play. Take the YES test by reviewing the list of items below. You and your child are ready for safe play once you can check off all of the boxes.

Use playground equipment that is good for your c​hild's age and that your child can:

  • reach on their own
  • ​climb on their own

Preschool-age children and school-age children need different types of playground equipment.


Your young child does not understand when he is in danger of hurting himself.

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Check the playground for:

  • any loose parts of playground equipment
  • strong handrails and barriers
  • broken pieces of glass or other sharp objects

Check the playground surface for hazards before letting your child play.

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Make sure the ground:

  • has a soft surface covered with wood chips, rubber surfacing, sand, or pea gravel
  • has material that is evenly spread under and around the equipment

Don't wear:

  • scarves
  • clothing with drawstrings or other cords
  • helmets

These items of clothing can cause choking if they get wrapped around a child's neck.


Your child could strangle on a play structure from a drawstring or a scarf dangling around her neck.

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Teach your child the following playground rules:

  • Wear shoes
  • Sit and go feet first, one child at a time down the slide
  • Don't push or shove
  • Hold onto railings
  • Stay a safe distance away from moving swings

Actively supervise your child:

  • Stay close enough that you can take action if needed​

Stay beside your child as they learn to climb and play on a structure.

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Report any problems with playground equipment to your local Environmental Public Health office, your city or town office, community centre, or school.​

Current as of: March 3, 2021

Author: Provincial Injury Prevention, Alberta Health Services