TM 5-803-11/AFJMAN 32-10139
MANUFACTURED PLAY EQUIPMENT
Table 10-1. Freestanding and Composite Structure Play Events.
Manufactured play equipment (MPE) components
should be designed as one part of a comprehensive
multipurpose play area. Isolated pieces of play
equipment alone do not address children's develop-
mental needs. Most MPE stimulates gross motor
and sensory development. However, properly se-
lected play equipment can also support the non-
physical aspects of child development. New designs
are now beginning to address the safety and devel-
Climber - arch
opment of children under age 5, children over age
Climber - net
10, and those with disabilities. This chapter de-
scribes safety and accessibility guidelines for manu-
factured equipment and specific play events. A list
of play events that are not recommended for unsu-
pervised children's outdoor play areas is provided.
Guidelines for composite structures and recom-
mended composite structure layouts are included.
10-2. Freestanding and Composite Structure
Many play events may be installed as freestand-
ing equipment or may be attached to a composite
structure. A composite structure consists of two or
more play events that are attached or functionally
linked to create one integral unit that provides mul-
tiple play activities. When play equipment empha-
sizes large muscle activity, a composite structure is
preferable to isolated pieces. When equipment sup-
ports quiet social activity, such as playhouses or
10-4. Structural Integrity.
game panels, separate equipment in a low activity
ASTM has developed test procedures that meas-
location may be preferred. Child safety also deter-
ure the load-bearing capacity of manufactured play
mines play equipment layout. For example, to-fro
equipment. It is the responsibility of manufacturers
swings must be located at the edge of the play area
to conduct these tests on equipment. Before specify-
and not be attached to composite structures to mini-
ing equipment, written verification should be ob-
mize injuries that occur when children run in front
tained from the manufacturer that the play equip-
of swings. Table 101 lists play events and identi-
ment was tested in accordance with ASTM F 1487
fies those that may be installed as freestanding
and meets all standards for structural integrity.
structures and those that may be installed as com-
10-5. Ladders, Stairways, and Ramps (Not
for Wheelchair Use).
10-3. Safety Guidelines for Manufactured
Ladders, stairways, and ramps are commonly
used to provide access to and egress from play
All manufactured equipment will meet general
equipment. Equipment access and egress methods
vary in difficulty. The level of challenge provided
F 1487, and this manual. A playground safety sur-
will be appropriate to the user's age group.
face that meets the requirements of ASTM F 1292
for the highest accessible height of the equipment
a. Rung Ladder Rung ladders have a rounded
should be installed over ground surfaces throughout
crosspiece that supports the user's feet or is grasped
the equipment use zone.
by the user's hands (fig 101).