Playground Safety: Slides
Although children under 6 years of age may be more likely to play on slides, older children will still use slides depending on their availability relative to other types of playground equipment.
Children can be expected to descend slide chutes in many different positions, rather than always sitting and facing forward as they slide.
They will slide down facing backward, on their knees, lying on their backs, head first, and will walk both up and down the chute.
Younger children in particular often slide down on their stomachs, either head or feet first.
Slides may provide a straight, wavy, or spiral descent either by means of a tube or an open slide chute.
They may be either free-standing, part of a composite structure, or built on the grade of a natural or man-made slope (embankment slide).
The recommendations in this section do not apply to water slides or swimming pool slides.
It is recommended that the average incline of a slide chute be no more than 30 degrees. This can be measured by determining that the height to length ratio (as shown in Figure 18) does not exceed 0.577. No span on the slide chute should have a slope greater than 50 degrees.
Straight slides with flat open chutes should have sides with a 4 inch minimum height extending along both sides of the chute for the entire length of the inclined sliding surface.
The slide chute of an embankment slide should have a maximum height of 12 inches above the underlying ground surface.
Such a design basically eliminates the hazard of falls from height.
Embankment slides should follow all of the recommendations given for straight slides, where applicable, e.g., side height, slope, use zone at exit, etc. It is important that some means be provided at the slide chute entrance to minimize the use of these slides by children on skates, skateboards or bicycles.
It is recommended that spiral slides follow the recommendations for straight slides (where applicable), with special attention given to design features which may present problems unique to spiral slides, such as lateral discharge of the user.
Preschool-Age Children: Because these children have less ability to maintain balance and postural control, only short spiral slides, one turn (360°) or less, are recommended for this age group.
Tube slides should meet all the applicable recommendations for other slides.
Barriers should be provided or surfaces textured to prevent sliding on the top (outside) of the tube.
The minimum internal diameter of the tube should be no less than 23 inches.
It should be noted that children using tube slides may not be visible to a supervisor. Consideration should be given to extra supervision on playgrounds having tube slides or to having transparent tube sections for observation and supervision.
If your child was severely injured from playing on a Slide, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and pain and suffering if the equipment is not up to code. For a free playground accident lawsuit case evaluation, fill out the simple form below and your case will be reviewed within 24 hours.
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