A playground hazard is anything in a playspace that has the potential to cause serious injuries. Hazards differ from challenges and risks - children need opportunities to experience risk and challenge in playgrounds.
Common playground hazards include:
- Hard surfaces under equipment
- Inadequate fall zones and playground surfacing
- Lack of maintenance, broken or faulty equipment
- Inadequate supervision
- Potential entrapment hazards
- Pinch points and sharp edges
- Protrusions and tangling hazards
- High platforms without barriers
- Inappropriate use or play
- Trip hazards
- Overcrowded play areas, and;
- Contamination with dangerous items such as broken glass and syringes
Careful planning, design and maintenance can assist in avoiding these hazards and preventing or reducing the severity of playground injuries.