Playground safety

Our favorite playgrounds with a checklist for parents on playground safety

Playgrounds offer all sorts of outdoor fun for kids and families. Fortunately, the Hudson Valley has plenty of places when kids can climb, swing and slide. Keep your kids safe during playground play with these tips from

East Fishkill Recreation area has several playgrounds throughout the town, including the forthcoming Lime Kiln: Julie’s Jungle that caters to kids of all abilities and be the first fully accessible playground in Dutchess County.

Safety tips: 
  • Concrete, asphalt, and blacktop are unsafe and unacceptable. Grass, soil, and packed-earth surfaces are also unsafe because weather and wear can reduce their capacities to cushion a child's fall. 
  • The playground surface should be free of standing water and debris that could cause kids to trip and fall, such as rocks, tree stumps, and tree roots.

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Robert E Post Park Kingston's playground is located in a park with beautiful views of the Hudson, several courts and fields for sports, and picnic tables and BBQ stands for the whole family to enjoy.

Safety tips: 

  • There should be no dangerous materials, like broken glass or twisted metal.
  • The surfaces may be loosely filled with materials like wood chips, mulch, sand, pea gravel, or shredded rubber. Wood chips containing chromated copper arsenate (CCA) treatment are not recommended since the material can pose a potential health hazard.

Tips on encouraging your kids to play outside

Benedict Farm Montgomery has two different playground sections, one for 2-5-year-olds and another for the big kids ages 5-12. The playground is ADA compliant for children with disabilities and is designed to ensure kids get exercise while they’re having fun.


 Safety tips:

  • Surfacing mats made of safety-tested rubber or rubber-like materials are also safe. 
  • Rubber mats and wood chips allow the best access for people in wheelchairs. 
  • Loose-fill surface materials 12 inches deep should be used for equipment up to 8 feet high. The material should not be packed down because this will reduce any cushioning effect

Great spots in the Hudson Valley to be outdoors!

Sally's Dream Playground at Thomas Bull Memorial Park Montgomery is located within a 20-acre area that includes charcoal grills, picnic tables, shelter, playground equipment, active game field area, comfort stations and parking area for 150 cars.

 Safety tips:

  • No surfacing materials are considered safe if the combined height of playground and the child (standing on the highest platform) is higher than 12 feet.
  • The cushioned surface should extend at least 6 feet past the equipment. Additional coverage may be needed, depending on how high a slide is or how long a swing is. 
  • If there is loose-fill over a hard surface (like asphalt or concrete), there should be 3-6 inches of loose-fill like gravel, a layer of geotextile cloth, a layer of loose-fill surfacing material, and then impact mats under the playground equipment.

Memorial Park Beacon's facilities include a playground, an athletic field for sports and games, a picnic area, and a large pavilion that can be rented for birthdays, barbecues, and other gatherings. 

Keep in mind that even proper surfacing can't prevent all injuries. Also, the greater the height of the equipment, the more likely kids are to get injured if they fall from it.