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Just a hop, skip and a jump away from safer playgrounds

February 4, 2021

Statements

  • Standards Australia has adopted standards to the series of AS 4685, Playground equipment and surfacing, Parts 1-6, with modifications made to reflect Australian industry and community needs.
  • The series has been updated to align with international standards and create safer environments for children’s free play.
  • The standards aim to guide manufacturers, suppliers and designers around the requirements for playground equipment, with intent of minimising injury due to height and free falling.

Play is an essential part of children’s development with outdoor playgrounds providing a place for children to learn about risk, social behaviour and independence. [1]

The AS 4685, Playground equipment and surfacing, series has been adjusted to provide clarification around height and free fall requirements with the objective to assist in reducing the risk of child playground related injuries.

“Playgrounds are the pillar of many Australian communities. This series is a great example of how Standards Australia are supporting our communities by providing the tools to build quality outdoor playgrounds for our children to enjoy,” said Roland Terry-Lloyd, Head of Standards Development at Standards Australia.

In a 2017 review, research showed 8.3% of child hospital visits were injuries related to falling from playground equipment. [2]

“These standards are an important tool in how we develop our children’s exposure to managed risk by eliminating deaths and serious injuries, while allowing the design of playgrounds that are fun, exciting and developmental,” said Professor David Eager, Chair of the committee responsible for the standards.

With falls being the most common cause of injury related to playgrounds [3], the changes across the series of standards aim to support safe practice in supervised early childhood settings by guiding manufactures, suppliers and designers. Further changes include consideration of the safety of playground equipment materials under Australian weather conditions.

“Many Australian parents probably aren’t aware there are a range of recommended standards incorporated within the design of playgrounds that protect their children during playtime. These design elements assist in minimising risk, helping to keep children safe while supporting their ability to learn and explore,” said Professor David Eager.

“Standards Australia are proud to provide guidance that encourages children to use free play as a way to learn and discover while in a safe environment,” concluded Mr. Terry-Lloyd.

[1] https://www.kidsafewa.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Playground-Research-Report.pdf

[2] http://www.paediatricinjuryoutcomes.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Australian-child-injury-report_FINAL-070617.pdf

[3] https://www.kidsafewa.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Playground-Research-Report.pdf

Contact
Communications Department
Just a hop, skip and a jump away from safer playgrounds
Email and link here
  • Standards Australia has adopted standards to the series of AS 4685, Playground equipment and surfacing, Parts 1-6, with modifications made to reflect Australian industry and community needs.
  • The series has been updated to align with international standards and create safer environments for children’s free play.
  • The standards aim to guide manufacturers, suppliers and designers around the requirements for playground equipment, with intent of minimising injury due to height and free falling.

Play is an essential part of children’s development with outdoor playgrounds providing a place for children to learn about risk, social behaviour and independence. [1]

The AS 4685, Playground equipment and surfacing, series has been adjusted to provide clarification around height and free fall requirements with the objective to assist in reducing the risk of child playground related injuries.

“Playgrounds are the pillar of many Australian communities. This series is a great example of how Standards Australia are supporting our communities by providing the tools to build quality outdoor playgrounds for our children to enjoy,” said Roland Terry-Lloyd, Head of Standards Development at Standards Australia.

In a 2017 review, research showed 8.3% of child hospital visits were injuries related to falling from playground equipment. [2]

“These standards are an important tool in how we develop our children’s exposure to managed risk by eliminating deaths and serious injuries, while allowing the design of playgrounds that are fun, exciting and developmental,” said Professor David Eager, Chair of the committee responsible for the standards.

With falls being the most common cause of injury related to playgrounds [3], the changes across the series of standards aim to support safe practice in supervised early childhood settings by guiding manufactures, suppliers and designers. Further changes include consideration of the safety of playground equipment materials under Australian weather conditions.

“Many Australian parents probably aren’t aware there are a range of recommended standards incorporated within the design of playgrounds that protect their children during playtime. These design elements assist in minimising risk, helping to keep children safe while supporting their ability to learn and explore,” said Professor David Eager.

“Standards Australia are proud to provide guidance that encourages children to use free play as a way to learn and discover while in a safe environment,” concluded Mr. Terry-Lloyd.

[1] https://www.kidsafewa.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Playground-Research-Report.pdf

[2] http://www.paediatricinjuryoutcomes.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Australian-child-injury-report_FINAL-070617.pdf

[3] https://www.kidsafewa.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Playground-Research-Report.pdf

Contact
Communications Department
communications@standards.org.au
communications@standards.org.au
Adam Stingemore
General Manager, Engagement and Communications
+61 2 9237 6086
Chris Larsen
Senior Manager Communications & Design
+ 0431 900 712
Jess Dunne
Communications Manager
+ 61 2 9237 6381