Climbing injuries

Current playground safety standards are unsafe

Climbing equipment accounts for 40% of all playground injuries, with head impact injuries being the most common type. After the NHTSA re-examined the effects of concussions and other forms of traumatic brain injury (TBI), the most significant revision of head injury criteria (HIC) definitions and maximum thresholds took place within the automobile industry, yet the playground industry refused to acknowledge any of it, basically ignoring facts that could very well save lives and prevent serious TBI on playgrounds. Maybe it is based on greed and money, because lowering the maximum HIC scores for playgrounds would eliminate the cash cow that easily triples the revenue gained for playground equipment purchase and installation alone. That's right, Pour-In-Place (PIP) would likely not survive such an industry standard change. Greed tends to destroy the best of anything, and generally wipes out any good that once existed. This may very well prove to be true for those responsible for playground industry safety at sometime in the future, when all the relevant facts are known. 


Openings between rails, bars, rungs and even ropes of cargo nets should be either less than 3-1/2 inches or more than 9 inches, to avoid entrapment of hands or head. Young children should not be using climbing equipment at any time, because they lack the upper body and hand strength to grip well, support their body weight, and they usually land on their face or head when they fall. The maximum height for any play structure for ages 5 and under should be no greater than 4 feet, and for ages 6 through 12 the height should not exceed 8 feet in maximum height.