Unsafe standards

Current playground safety standards are unsafe

The fact is current U.S. fall safety standards are grossly and negligently unsafe, then compound this with many public playgrounds not even meeting these unsafe standards due to improper surfacing installation and/or maintenance, it makes for a far more serious problem which needs to be addressed. 


The Consumer Product Safety Commision (CPSC) publication 325 for Public Playground Safety Standard Guidelines states that the ASTM standards are acceptable at 200 G's (200x the force of gravity) or 1,000 HIC (Head Injury Criteria) is the threshold at which Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or death is likely from playground falls. Yet we know based on real world injury data that most humans cannot normally survive anything greater than 120 G's. This standard was based on data interpolated from crash tests performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) mostly on cadavers and large animal parts during the 1960's, sometimes using volunteer inmates. 


When boxers and football players started exhibiting serious health conditions due to TBI experienced from impact concussions, the NHTSA conducted new tests in 1999 that resulted in updated threshold recommendations in their November 1999 assessment and adopted within their March 2000 report, which stated that TBI or death was likely at only 390 HIC for ages 3 and younger, 570 HIC for ages 4-5, and 700 HIC for ages 6 through adult. More info about this is available here.


So, a very good question might be, why is it the playground industry chooses to ignore over 20 year old data from the same source that definitively proves beyond any reasonable doubt the current playground fall safety standards of 1,000 HIC are indeed unsafe