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Playground standards in Canada

Playground standards in Canada

The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) has developed the only nationally recognized standard on children's play spaces and equipment. The CSA Standard provides detailed information about materials, installation, strength of the equipment, surfacing, inspection, maintenance, performance requirements, access to the playground, play space layout and specifications for each type of equipment. The CSA first published guidelines for playgrounds in 1990, which have been revised and updated periodically.

The standards are voluntary and are not a law. The standards apply to public playgrounds, such as those on school grounds, in parks, or at day care centres or motels. They do not apply to private, residential (home) playgrounds or indoor facilities.  There is no national enforcement body for playground safety; however, some jurisdictions in Canada have passed regulations requiring public playground operators to ensure that their playgrounds meet the CSA Standard. For example, in some provinces, playgrounds at day care centres may be required to meet the standard in order for the centre to get an operating licence. The standards are not retroactive and only apply to play spaces and equipment installed after the date the Standard was published.  The CSA does not certify playgrounds or specific pieces of play equipment.

For more information about the CSA Standard or to obtain a copy, contact CSA or 1-800-463-6727.