National Playground Safety Week:
April 27 - May 1, 2020
Spring has arrived and with summer right around the corner, more of us will be outside engaging in all of our favorite spring and summer activities, playgrounds included.

Due to COVID-19, playgrounds across America have been shut down, and you may have seen playgrounds in your community roped off with yellow safety tape to prevent children from playing on the equipment and potentially spreading the virus. At this time, the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC) is recommending not to use playgrounds located within local, state, or national parks. Using playgrounds might lead to the spread of COVID-19 because:
  • Playgrounds are often crowded and could exceed the recommended guidance for gatherings
  • It can be challenging to keep playground equipment and surfaces clean and disinfected
  • The virus can spread easily when young children touch contaminated equipment and then touch their hands to their eyes, nose, or mouth

For alternate sources of play, visit parks or open spaces, as opposed to playgrounds.  
  •  Prepare before you go; bring disinfectant wipes and, or hand sanitizer if available
  • The CDC recommends wearing cloth face masks that cover the nose and mouth while out and about in public settings. Click here to learn how you can make your own cloth face mask. 
  • Bring activities from home to play with; bats, balls, toys, etc. . .and make sure to  sanitize every item after each visit. 
  • Visit parks that allow for enough open space to maintain the six-foot distance ("social distancing")

Rate your Playground- Does your Playground make the Grade?

The playground report cards graded playgrounds in the four areas of the National Action Plan for the Prevention of Playground Injuries S.A.F.E. model:
1.       Supervision
2.       Age appropriate design
3.       Fall surfacing
4.    Equipment maintenance

What overall grade rating do you think Alaska's playgrounds fall under? A? B? Guess again- in 2004, the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS) rated Alaska school playgrounds with a C+ grade, a grade lower from a B grade in 2000. Alaska's parks and recreation grade went from a C+ in 2000 down to a C- in 2004. At the time of the report in 2004, more than half of the playground equipment in Alaska's schools and parks had been installed prior to 1998, and one-third of the playground equipment was more than 10 years old! Typically, new playground equipment lasts 8-10 years after its original installation date. However, new commercial playground equipment may last as long as 15-20 years without any updates, or as long as warranty supports. This is an excellent time to complete playground equipment safety checks and inspections. Evaluate your playground using the following criteria; supervision, age-appropriate design, fall surfacing, and equipment maintenance. Use the Playground Safety Report Card to see if your playground makes the grade.

Challenge your students to grade and inspect their playgrounds with the Kid Checker!

Need to purchase safety caution tape for your playground to prevent accessibility? Does your playground require repairs and maintenance? Use your Safety Savings account!
Contact [email protected] for questions on the safety of your playgrounds or to check your Safety Savings account balance.

We encourage you to also visit our Online University at and complete the Playground Safety Course.

Lastly, don't forget that your 
Spring Facility Self-Inspections are due this month for credit in the Loss Control Inspection Program. If you need additional time to complete these inspections due to the pandemic situation, please let us know.