Annual reports of UK injury data collected through the Home and Leisure Accident Surveillance Systems (HASS/LASS) are available online but data collection ended in 2002. The RoSPA Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents estimates approximately 40,000 playground accidents annually resulting in a hospital visit. In addition, RoSPA summarizes the causes and types of playground accidents. The US National Institute of Health report titled What is the Relationship between Risky Outdoor Play and Health in Children? A Systematic Review offers an assessment of literature on the topic of outdoor play.
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Equipment design, proper maintenance, and regular inspections are important means of providing playground safety. Age appropriate use and proper supervision play a role in accident prevention as well.
EN 1176 covering equipment, and EN 1177 covering surfacing are the principle playground safety standards.
The British standards BS EN 1176 for playground equipment specify performance criteria, test methods and safety considerations. BS EN 1177 specifies a method for determining the impact attenuation of playground surfacing.
In a report, "Playgrounds - risks, benefits and choices", by Professor David J Ball Middlesex University School of Health & Social Sciences Centre for Decision Analysis & Risk Management, the risks associated with playgrounds are compared with other types of activities. The report concludes the risks are modest compared with other types of activities, and evidence is mixed for the effectiveness of various playground surfaces in mitigating injuries. It considers the quality of play and the practicality of various safety measures.