ADA - is a civil rights law that prohibits
discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public
life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private
places that are open to the general public Enacted by the U.S. Congress in
ADA Accessible - Describes a playground that meets or
exceeds ADA guidelines.
ADA Compliant - This is another way of saying ADA
Accessible. Compliant playgrounds follow ADA guidelines.
Age Group - Playgrounds are designed with a specific
age range in mind for safety reasons. The age group refers to the age range
that the equipment is designed for.
Agility - Is the ability to move and change direction
and position of the body quickly and effectively while under control.
ASTM - Formerly known as the American Society for
Testing and Materials, ASTM International provides international standards for
a wide ranges of products, services, and materials. ASTM standards for
playgrounds ensure that your product is safe and reliable.
Availability - The availability tells you how soon
after your order is placed that you can expect your equipment to arrive.
Balance - Evenly distributing one's weight to remain
upright and steady.
Barrier - An enclosing device around an elevated
platform to prevent accidental and purposeful attempts to move through the
Blow Mold Plastic - Pieces of the play structure that
are hollow plastic. Created by melting down the plastic and injecting it into
the mold. Air pressure pushes the plastic out into the mold, creating the
Border - Piece of equipment, typically a type of
timber, that outlines the use zone of a playground. A border surrounds
loose-fill safety surfacing, restricting displacement and the amount of refill
product and maintenance needed.
Brand - The company that produces the product.
Climber - Piece of equipment designed for children to
safely climb up and around. Several designs include panels, ropes, nets, and
Coordination - The organisation of different body parts
so they can work effectively together.
Composite Structure - The combination of elevated
play components that are linked together to create one large system. Provides
play activities such as slides and climbers.
CPSC - Stands for the Consumer Product Safety
Commission. The CPSC sets forth guidelines for playground equipment. Some
states may require playgrounds to comply with these guidelines.
CPSI - Stands for Certified Playground Safety
Inspector. A certification that can be earned from the National Recreation and
Park Association stating that the individual is qualified to determine a
playground's safety level.
Critical Height - The maximum fall height that a
life-threatening head injury would not be expected to occur.
Designated Play Surface - Any elevated surface for
standing, walking, crawling, sitting or climbing, or a flat surface greater
than 2 inches wide by 2 inches long having an angle less than 30 from
Embankment Slide - A slide that follows the contour
of the ground and at no point is the bottom of the chute greater than 12 inches
above the surrounding ground.
Entanglement - Occurs when the playground user's
clothing or something around the user's neck becomes entwined or caught on a
component of equipment.
Entrapment - Any condition that impedes withdrawal of
a body or body part that has penetrated an opening.
Fall Height - The distance between the highest
designed play area on a piece of equipment and the safety surfacing beneath.
Fine Motor Skills - Skills required to manipulate and
gain control over materials and tools including grasping, manipulating and
Flexibility - The capacity of a joint or muscle to
move through its full range of motion. Good flexibility is an important part of
the overall fitness profile and is also important for injury prevention.
Footing - A way of anchoring the playground equipment
to the ground.
Footprint - The area that the piece of equipment will
Full Bucket Seat Swing - A swing generally
appropriate for children under 4 years of age that provides support on all
sides and between the legs of the occupant and cannot be entered or exited
without adult assistance.
Geotextile (filter) Cloth A fabric that retains its
relative structure during handling, placement, and long-term service to enhance
water movement, retard soil movement, and to add reinforcement and separation
between the soil and the surfacing and/or sub-base.
Gross Motor Skills - The ability to control large
body muscles including the arms, legs, hands, feet, head, neck and torso - for
walking, running, sitting, crawling, climbing, balancing, jumping, catching,
throwing and striking. These skills foster a lifelong ability to participate in
physical activity including sport and recreation.
Guardrail - A device around an elevated platform that
exists to prevent falls from the elevated surface.
Imaginative or Creative Play - A style of playing
where a child uses his/her imagination during play time. It allows a child to
explore his/her own identity, make decisions and create their own rules,
control behavior and practice the act of creation which helps develop
sense-of-self and boosts confidence. During creative "let's pretend"
playtime, a child experiences new thoughts and feelings and begins to learn how
Playgrounds that are designed to be accessible to all children, taking three
things into consideration; accessible for any level of physical development,
accessible for any age group and development level, and include sensory
Infill - Any material (vertical bars, solid panel,
etc.), used between decks, or in a protective barrier, to prevent a child from
falling through the barrier.
Loose Fill Surfacing - Protective surfacing in a use
zone that consists of loose particles. Examples are sand, gravel, rubber mulch,
or engineered wood mulch.
Natural Playground - Playgrounds that use natural
materials, features, and vegetation with creative landscapes to create a play
area out of natural objects.
Overhead Ladder - Commonly referred to as “monkey
bars.” Features a horizontal ladder hoisted up by four poles at various
heights. Can stand alone or attach to a structure.
Playground - A designated place specifically designed
for children to play. May be indoors or outdoors.
Polyethylene - The most common plastic. Used in
Powder Coat Paint - A type of paint coating that is
applied as a dry powder and is baked on.
Preschool Age Children - Refers to children ages 2 to
5 years old.
Projection - Anything that extends extends outward
from a surface of the playground equipment and must be tested to determine
whether it is a protrusion or entanglement hazard, or both.
Protrusion - A piece of something that sticks out.
Protective Barrier - See Barrier.
Protective Surfacing - Shock absorbing (i.e., impact
attenuating) surfacing material in the use zone that conforms to the
recommendations in 2.4 of this handbook.
Roller Slide - A slide that has a chute consisting of
a series of individual rollers over which the user travels.
Slide Chute - The inclined sliding surface of a
Rotational Mold Plastic - A heated hollow mold that
is filled with plastic and slowly rotated until the plastic fully coats and
fills the mold.
Safety Zone - The surface around a piece of equipment
that is expected to be the area a child falling would land. Also designated for
free circulation around piece of equipment.
School Age Children - Refers to children ages 5 to 12
Seesaw - A narrow board anchored in the middle,
allowing one end to go up as the other goes down. Commonly called a
SKU - Stock Keeping Unit. The item number of the
piece of equipment.
Slide - A chute that travels from the decks of the
structure to the ground. Various forms of slides include a tube slide, right
turn slide, and a bump wave slide.
Social Development - The ability to interact and work
with others, and the acquisition of skills for effective relationships (ie
sharing, waiting a turn, working as a team).
Stationary Play Equipment - Any play structure that
has a fixed base and does not move.
Supervisor - Any person tasked with watching children
on a playground. Supervisors may be paid professionals (e.g., childcare,
elementary school or park and recreation personnel), paid seasonal workers
(e.g., college or high school students), volunteers (e.g., PTA members), or unpaid
caregivers (e.g., parents) of the children playing in the playground.
Tether Ball - A two person game featuring a pole with
a ball hanging from the top by a long rope. Players hit the ball back and
forth, trying to wrap the rope around the pole. One player wins when the rope
is wrapped around the pole and the ball touches the pole.
Toddlers - Children ages 6 months to 23 months.
Tube Slide - A slide that is a totally enclosed tube
Unit Size - The dimensions of the piece of equipment.
Unitary Surfacing Material - A manufactured material
used for protective surfacing in the use zone that may be rubber tiles, mats,
or a combination of energy absorbing materials held in place by a binder that
may be poured in place at the playground site and cures to form a unitary shock
Upper Body Equipment - Equipment designed to support
a child by the hands only (e.g., horizontal ladder, overhead swinging rings).
Use Zone - The area under and around a piece of
equipment that a child falling would be expected to land. Also designated for
unrestricted movement around the equipment.
Weight - How heavy the piece of equipment is.