Playground Fencing Requirements

Written by tami parrington
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Playground Fencing Requirements
Proper fencing is an important playground safety feature. (pink playground image by Barbara Tripp from

Playground fencing serves two important purposes; it keeps children in, and harmful influences like cars and animals out. There are new regulations that demand certain standards for playground fencing. The standard for playground fencing is mandated by ASTM International, and the handbook is available online for sale in hardcopy and download versions.

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Secure areas of playground fencing must be at least four feet tall. It must completely surround the area if hazards such as roadways or public foot traffic exist within 200 feet of the equipment or play areas.


Fencing fabric must be unclimbable. Standard chain link is easy to climb if the openings have more than 1.25" horizontal, or 1.75" vertical openings. Any fencing that does not meet this standard including latch openings and bolt areas of panel fences must be over the 4 foot height, covered or corrected.


Vehicle barriers designed to stop cars from entering a fenced playground must be installed outside the fencing. These must only be placed in areas that have vulnerable spots such as intersections or busy highways. They should not completely surround a play area.


All gates must close on their own, self-latch and open from the outside to keep children from leaving unattended.


There must not be any equipment, loose debris, toys, or other obstacles within six feet of the interior fence perimeter so children cannot climb it to get over the fence.


Fencing must be installed according to the manufacturer instructions. All personnel must read the operating regulations and sign off on them.

Chain Link Modification

Existing chain link fence can use modifying slats to close the gaps and make it compliant with safety standards.

Protruding Fasteners

Cut any bolts, screws or nails protruding from the back of equipment, or cover with safety caps.

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