Needs Assessment

Getting Started

As you begin the design process, there are some important elements to consider. Keeping these needs in mind will help insure your commercial playground equipment is safe and fun for everyone. Your local Playcraft Representative will help you find exactly what you need to bring a fresh and exciting feel to your school, park or neighborhood landscape.
Make a drab playground exciting again!

What age range will the playground be designed for?

2-5 years
5-12 years

The CPSC and ASTM have established specific playground safety guidelines for children ages 2-5 and 5-12.

Both the CPSC and ASTM guidelines recommend that separate play areas be created for each age group with age-appropriate equipment for each.

When adding swings to a playground, consideration must also be given to the type of swings seats which will occupy each swing bay. Your choice of swing seat will affect the use zone of the swing and dictate the age range of the occupants. Note: It is recommended that infant and/or toddler seats (full bucket and half bucket seats) are located in a separate bay from belt seats and ADA seats.

Your Playcraft Representative can assist you with all Age Range related topics.

Standards for Playground Use Zone Safety

Playgrounds are an important part of children’s educational experience and should be safe and secure. The CPSC has conducted studies and developed recommendations about standards for appropriate playground surfaces which will minimize child injuries. The surface material beneath and around playground equipment (the “use zone”) can be a major factor underlying the injury potential of a fall. Falls onto shock absorbing surfaces are less likely to cause serious injury than are falls onto hard surfaces. In particular, head injuries from falls are potentially life threatening and the more shock absorbing a surface is, the greater likelihood the risk of severe injuries can be avoided.

The CPSC Handbook is available online:

Common Playground Terms used in the CPSC Handbook:

Use Zone:The surface under and around a piece of equipment onto which a child falling from or exiting from the equipment would be expected to land.

Critical Height: The fall height below which a life threatening head injury would not be expected to occur.

Infill: Material(s) used in a protective barrier to prevent a user from passing through the barrier, e.g., vertical bars, lattice, solid panel, etc.

Loose-Fill Surfacing Material: A material used for protective surfacing in the use zone that consists of loose particles such as sand, gravel, wood fibers, or shredded rubber.

Protective Surfacing: Surfacing material in the use zone that conforms to the recommendations in section 4.5 of the CPSC Handbook for Public Playground Safety.

Unitary Surfacing Material: A manufactured material used for protective surfacing in the use zone that may be rubber tiles, mats, or combination of rubber-like materials held in place by a binder that may be poured in place at the playground site and cures to form a unitary shock absorbing surface(See Surfacing)

What ADA / Special needs or Disabilities should be considered?

The Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG or ADA) were developed by the U.S. Access Board to ensure that children with disabilities will have access to playgrounds and play events where they can be free to play and interact with other children. These ADA guidelines mandate that portions of all new playgrounds be accessible to children with disabilities. Your Playcraft Representative will help you to better understand the ADA requirements and assist you in designing a playground that meets them.

Other Considerations

What local codes or requirements must be considered?
What existing equipment is to be retained?
Is the existing equipment compliant with current ASTM/CPSC and ADA Guidelines?
Playcraft Systems™ Commercial Playground Equipment
Playcraft Systems™ is a Commercial Playground Equipment company. At our state-of-the-art Commercial Playground Manufacturing facility we produce: New Commercial Playground Equipment, School Playground Sets, Accessible Playground Equipment and Park Fitness Equipment, and Site Furnishings and Amenities.
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