***Update: ASTM F1148-17 has been revised. ASTM F1148-18: Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Home Playground Equipment is available on the ANSI Webstore.
Home playground equipment takes the joy that a child can experience in any playground and inserts it into the sanctuary that can only be found at his or her home. However, just as with public recreational playgrounds, home playgrounds can expose children to an assortment of hazards. ASTM F1148-17 – Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Home Playground Equipment provides safety guidelines for home playground equipment.
Home playground equipment is defined as “any product in which the support structure remains stationary while the activity is taking place and is intended for a child to perform any of the following activities: climbing, swinging, sliding, rocking, spinning, crawling, or creeping, or combination thereof.”
While accidents on public playgrounds are far more numerous, those on home playgrounds have been comparatively more tragic. Between 1990 and 2001, at least 147 children were killed from playground equipment-related injuries. About 70 percent of these deaths took place at home playgrounds.
These fatalities have generally resulted from strangulation, due to entanglement or entrapment, which accounts for 56 percent of all the deaths. The guidelines detailed in ASTM F1148-17 directly address the issue of strangulation through the design of the home playground equipment. It mentions head and neck entrapment, offering guidance for openings, ropes, and other components.
The ASTM F1148-17 consumer safety specification is intended for use by children aged from 18 months through 10 years. However, it further sets guidelines for swings that are intended specifically for toddlers.
While most fatalities are associated with falls, the majority of injuries (about 67 percent) that take place on home playgrounds involve swings. ASTM F1148-17 details the equipment, dimensions, and test methods for assuring the safety and stability of swings intended for toddlers in home playgrounds.
Aside from these two examples, the standard specification confronts a vast composition of safety considerations. These can be found within the ASTM F1148-17 document.
Please note that this specification is not intended to apply to juvenile care products, such as infant swings, playpens/enclosures, beds, or furniture. It also excludes fitness equipment, unless it is attached to play equipment. Similarly, toy accessories and toy chests are applicable to this standard if they are attached to home playground equipment.
ASTM F1148-17 does not eliminate the need for parental supervision. In fact, it explicitly states that manufacturers should include the recommendation for on-site adult supervision in the operating instructions of any home playground equipment.
The document is also not applicable to playground equipment for public use, as this is covered by ASTM F1487-17. For information on the standard specification for public playground equipment safety, please read our other post on the subject:
If you’d like to see a comprehensive list of the other playground standards published by ASTM International, please refer to: ASTM Playground Standards
ASTM F1148-17 – Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Home Playground Equipment is available on the ANSI Webstore.