Children's Playspaces and Equipment
This is the second edition of CSA Standard CAN/CSA-Z614, Children's Playspaces and Equipment, formerly called A Guideline to Children's Playspaces and Equipment. It supersedes the first edition published in 1990.
In 1979, the Canadian Institute of Child Health, a national voluntary organization, began to investigate injuries in playgrounds. A review of the literature and consultations with many individuals indicated that action was required to improve play equipment and playspaces, with the goal being reduced injuries.
In April 1981, the first Canadian Conference on Children's Accidents and Prevention was held in Ottawa. A major session focused on playground-related injuries. In April 1982, the Institute called together a group of national organizations to discuss the need for standards for playgrounds. Present at the meeting were representatives from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Consumer and Corporate Affairs Canada, the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Health and Welfare Canada, Canadian Parks/Recreation Association, and a playground manufacturer.
At this meeting a Task Force for the Development of Guidelines for Children's Playspaces and Equipment was established by the Institute. This Task Force published a bibliography and a document entitled Guideline Recommendations for Safe Children's Play Spaces and Equipment. In September 1985, this document was submitted to the Canadian Standards Association.
Early in 1986, the Canadian Standards Association convened a Technical Committee to prepare CSA Standard CAN/CSA-Z614, A Guideline on Children's Playspaces and Equipment. In June 1990, the document was approved as a National Standard of Canada by the Standards Council of Canada.
In this edition of the Standard there have been a number of changes that should be brought to the attention of users of the previous version and new users.
There has been significant harmonization of this Standard and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standard on Public Playspaces F 1487, in relation to the technical nature of the Standard. Specific attention should be directed to the user age group and the size of various openings. In addition, this Standard has adopted a performance standard in relation to the protective surface for a playground and provides information to assist the user in determining the location on a piece of equipment that would be the critical or maximum accessible point from which to measure a potential fall.
The Technical Committee is developing an addendum to this Standaard for those owners/operators who wish to make their playspace accessible to children with special needs.
This Standard was prepared by the Technical Committee on Children's Playspaces and Equipment under the jurisdiction of the Standards Steering Committee on Public Safety and was formally approved by the Technical Committee. It has been approved as a National Standard of Canada by the Standards Council of Canada.
This Standard provides requirements for playspaces and equipment intended for use by children aged 18 months to 12 years.
(1) The level of challenge required and desired by children varies enormously with age, physical development, and emotional development. Consequently, it is almost impossible to design a piece of play equipment that meets the needs of all children. This Standard covers equipment designed for children aged 18 months to 12 years. It is generally accepted that children younger than 18 months and children aged 13 years and older do not usually use the equipment covered in this Standard.
(2) The sixth year of a child's life (when the child is 5 years old) is accepted as a transitional year. Consequently, the requirements in this Standard are split into two age groupings: 18 months to 5 years and 5 years to 12 years. The overlap of the 5-year-old child is deliberate and acknowledges the transitional nature of the sixth year of life.
Since this Standard addresses the varied play needs of children with diverse ranges of physical and emotional development, it applies to a wide variety of playspaces and equipment.
This Standard contains recommendations on technical requirements and practices applicable to the design, manufacture/construction, installation, maintenance, and inspection of children's playspaces and equipment for use in public playspaces.
This Standard applies to new playspaces and equipment and to additions and replacement parts of existing playspaces and equipment.
The Standard provides requirements for all equipment in a playspace that is provided to be used by children at play, although this equipment may not be produced for that purpose (eg, a vehicle, a boat, tree trunks). Other objects or furnishings in a playspace, such as benches or tables, which children often use as play equipment, are not considered in this Standard.
Note: The equipment configurations shown in the Figures in this Standard are examples only. Configurations other than those shown can be designed and built to meet the requirements specified in the Clauses of the Standard.
This Standard does not apply to the following:
(a) sport, fitness, or gymnasium environments;
(b) swimming pools and slides that end in water and whirlpools;
(c) homemade or child-constructed play equipment;
(d) soft contained play equipment that has controlled public access, such as commercial establishments (eg, restaurants, department stores, etc) but not day cares or outside, fenced public playspaces; and
(e) play equipment intended for private backyard use and for amusement parks.
The values given in SI (metric) units are the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only. For the purposes of conversion, 25 mm = 1 in.