Are Our Playgrounds (and Industry-Related Fall Safety Standards) Really Safe?
Playground safety standards currently in effect are not really safe. When one considers the current threshold where it is likely a child would suffer Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or death is 390 HIC for ages 1-3, 570 HIC for ages 4-5, and 700 HIC for ages 6 through adult, and the current industry standard says up to 1000 HIC is safe.
This is taking into account the current March 2000 data from the NHTSA, whose prior data from the 1960's and 70's was used to create the current safety standards. It might seem reasonable that if and when the governmental agency conducted newer tests which proved the old data was incorrect, that a child's safety on a playground might be the most important thing, and that the industry fall safety standards would be revised quickly. Unfortunately, this isn't the case.
Furthermore, testing of one of the most popular playground surfaces, Poured-In-Place (PIP), has shown a 444% to 700% greater probability of serious injury than a normal rubber mulch loose-fill playground surface.
A pretty informative article with lots of references.