ASTM F2373-11(2017): Public Use Play Equipment

Nursery worker with infant in playground that adheres to ASTM F2373-11(2017).

Child development experts and parents agree play is an imperative part of childhood. Public play areas can help children develop physically, emotionally, socially, and intellectually. Children of different ages have dramatically different needs for developmentally appropriate and safe play experiences. ASTM F2373-11(2017): Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification For Public Use Play Equipment For Children 6 Months Through 23 Months covers public playground equipment for children 6 months to 23 months old.

Playground Equipment for Infants and Pre-Toddlers

Play areas for children 6 months through 23 months should offer places where they can have space to move and explore. Children of this age group are largely influenced by sensory development, meaning they will explore their environment with their eyes, hands, feet, torsos, and mouths. They are predominantly at ground or floor level during this stage and will need space to explore their area away from older peers.

Appropriate play areas for this group should provide places to crawl, sit-up, pull up, stand, and walk. These pieces should be designed with safety, adventure, and skill-building in mind as well as incorporating a balance of structure and freedom. Hence, it is imperative that manufactures use the highest quality materials that provide maximum safety and durability. Safety is the priority when it comes to designing the right pieces of infant and pre-toddler playground equipment and adhering to ASTM F2373-11(2017) can help achieve that goal.

What Is ASTM F2373?

ASTM F2373-11(2017) provides safety and performance requirements for various types of public use play equipment, such as composite play structures, climbing structures, to-fro swings, spring rocking equipment, and slides. This standard applies to play equipment that is used in places of public assembly, including early care and education facilities, parks, or playgrounds. Public use play areas for children in this age range include both indoor (classroom) settings and outdoor playgrounds. ASTM F2373-11(2017) specifies safety requirements for public use play equipment for children in the 5th percentile 6-month-old through the 95th percentile 23-month-old.

Home playground equipment, amusement park equipment, sports equipment, fitness equipment, soft contained play equipment, tricycles, toys, juvenile care products such as infant swings, play yards, expansion gates, and expandable enclosures, furniture (including child-sized house play furnishings and sand/water tables intended primarily for indoor use), bassinets and cradles, infant walkers, bouncer seats, jumpers, infant stationary activity centers, and infant carriers are not included in the scope of this standard.

Age-Appropriate Play Equipment for 6 to 23 months Old Children

Public playground equipment for children 6 to 23 months old are designed to encourage child development as well as to promote best practices in play and learning. This age-appropriate commercial playground equipment should be designed low-to-the-ground and include smooth, colorful surfaces that encourage safe and fun play. Here are some examples of age-appropriate play equipment for pre-toddlers:

  • Ramps
  • Climbing equipment under 32 inches high
  • Single file step ladders
  • Slides of modest height
  • Spring riders/rockers
  • Stairways
  • Swings with full bucket seats
  • Low crawl tunnels
  • Activity panels
  • Pull- Up Handles

ASTM F2373-11(2017): Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification For Public Use Play Equipment For Children 6 Months Through 23 Months is available on the ANSI Webstore.

Share this blog post:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.