Safety Considerations When Designing a Playground


There are many factors that go into the decisions of building a playground. One of the first factors to be determined is the age-range of the children that will be playing on this playground. For instance, there are certain things that a playground for nursery-school children would have that a middle school playground would not have.

Target Audience

Using the example of children in middle school, let’s assess which type of safety standards would be necessary for such a playground. If this playground resides on a school campus, there would need to be a fence bordering the playground area. This is especially important if the playground is located closer to the street, as many are. Safety is one of the first things to consider when designing a playground. The rest of the factors will depend on both the age of the children it is designed for as well as the location of the playground.

Type of Structures

The next thing to consider is the type of structures that will be built. Playground Outfitters offers some of the best and safest structures for any playground. From simple configurations to more complex ones, there are affordable and reliable options for your playground needs.

Thinking of the design for a middle school playground with children ranging from age nine to twelve years of age on average, the structures will be very different from that of an elementary school playground. Because the children are much bigger and often a bit more adventurous with how they play, the playground needs to reflect such characteristics.

Safety Surfacing

The type of ground and material used for a young adolescent’s playground can be a bit more durable than a younger child’s playground. Additionally, there can be higher structures to accommodate taller kids. Playground Outfitters offers a durable rubber mulch option to cover the ground of an active playground. Everything essentially needs to be larger in scale as compared to a smaller children’s playground in about the same area.

It is difficult to state the square footage that an average middle school playground would be. The size of the school depends on its location, and some are drastically bigger than the others. Another deciding factor of size is the school’s budget that states the amounts allotted to certain projects.

Fall Height & Depth of Playground

Aside from this factor, let’s still consider a playground on a middle school campus. Besides the surfacing of the ground and structures as well as the fall height being different from a younger kids’ playground, we also need to consider the depth of the playground itself. This factor might be one of the more important ones aside from safety because with larger kids running around, they need a larger amount of space to move. Depending on the school itself and the space that they can use, this will help to determine the ratio of playground structure to open land.

It is important to consider this ratio because when kids get older, they often tend to stray away from the typical playground type of play and gravitate towards their own games that use their creativity. So, they might want grass on which to play football or tag as opposed to slides and monkey bars. However, it is understandable that not everyone will want open grass to play on, so considering some Independent Play structures that span the playground area could also be important.

Additional Safety Standards & Considerations

Seeing as though it is around the middle school age when kids, on average, start to go through puberty, along comes the children that are a bit more daring than they were a few years younger. They often want to jump off benches and create challenges out of almost anything. With this in mind, something else to consider is the level of challenge to include in a playground on middle school property.

Monkey bars need to be high enough where the average student needs to hop a bit to latch on to them, not towering over the structure, to begin with. Swings need to be long enough to reach a certain height when swinging, but not too long where kids are basically on the ground before taking off.


Of all these factors, let’s recap the ones that are of top value when creating a safe playground for middle school-aged kids. Firstly, is the age of the children, which we have already determined. Secondly, is the type of fencing that would border the playground. This is one of the most important safety structures, besides safe equipment, because you want to make sure that you establish a border to keep children in and everyone else out, for the most part.

The third factor is the type of structures you will build and specific safety surfacing. The specific types of structures will vary depending on the location of the school and the size of the playground, but it will essentially be a structure that is both challenging and safe. Monkey bars can curve, slides can be a bit higher than a younger child’s playground, and other parts of the ground can be adjusted accordingly.

The fourth factor to consider is depth, which is yet another thing that is determined by other regulations and standards but is valuable as a measure of size to match the age of kids.


Overall, there are more than just a few things to take into consideration when building a playground for kids. Safety should be the number one priority for all structures or facilities, especially those involving children. Therefore, there are so many factors to pay attention to when making decisions that will ultimately affect a child. With Playground Outfitters’ structures in mind, one of the many factors of choosing appropriate structures can be a lot easier to figure out. Because after all, children deserve the best and safest experience when having fun.