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Playground Safety

Playgrounds are an essential element of child development and education. The State of California requires all public playgrounds meet the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) guidelines and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards.

To assist our member districts in meeting these requirements and keeping playgrounds available and safe for our students, SIA offers tools, services and resources. We also have Certified Playground Safety Inspectors available to assist with inspections.

Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) Course

If your district has playgrounds, SIA strongly encourages you to have staff who meet the State of California's requirements regarding playground inspections.  The knowledge your staff will gain from the CPSI course will provide cost-saving insight into proper equipment purchase, installation, maintenance and inspection.  The California Park & Recreation Society (CPRS) ​in conjunction with the  National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) currently provide this course virtually.

Additional information on logistics and registration is available here.  SIA will reimburse our member districts the cost of the course and exam once the course is completed. 



Playground Signage - School playgrounds are often available for use by the public during non-school hours. These labels were designed to help the public use your equipment safely. The labels indicate the appropriate age range of the user, suggestions for safe play and direction for adult supervision and concerns. Each label is 5x7 inches and can be affixed directly onto the equipment. There are three age range options 2 to 5 years, 5 to 12 years and 2 to 12 years. Select the label that is most appropriate for the design of your equipment. 

Download Playground Warning Label Order Form (pdf)

COVID-19:  Playground closure sample signage


Maintaining a Safe Playground during COVID-19 - School districts should consider this information in determining if school playgrounds and play structures will be used.  Districts should consult their local Public Health Department for current guidance.

Playground Audit/Inspection form - All public playgrounds in California are to be inspected by a Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI). This checklist can be used to by a CPSI to conduct initial inspections of new equipment.  It can also be adapted for ongoing inspections.

Word DocumentDownload Playground Audit Checklist (docx)

Routine Inspection Form - Use this checklist to conduct your routine inspections. This form can be adapted for each of your playgrounds.

Download Playground Routine Inspection Form - Loose Fill Surface Material (doc)
Download Playground Routine Inspection Form – Unitary Surface Material (doc)

IPEMA third-party certification of playground equipment/surface materials - The International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA) provides a third-party certification service in which an independent laboratory validates the manufacturer’s claims of conformance.  The IPEMA website provides an easy and free service to search by manufacturer, product line and specific product to identify and print out IPEMA Certificates of Compliance for play equipment and surface materials.

IPEMA third-party certification of playground equipment/surface materials

Installation and maintenance of engineered wood fiber (EWF) to meet ADA requirements - Correctly installing and maintaining your EWF surface in playground areas is critical to keeping your surfacing both safe and ADA compliant.  This two-page document provides step-by-step information for both the original install and ongoing maintenance at your playgrounds.

PDF DocumentInstallation and maintenance of engineered wood fiber (EWF) to meet ADA requirements (pdf)

online training

Playground Safety Supervision video - Part 1

Playground Safety Supervision video - Part 2