Playground Research Report: A Comparison of the Safety Risks and Health Benefits between Manufactured Playgrounds and Nature Playgrounds within a School Environment

In 2015 Kidsafe WA developed a research project to compare the safety risks and health benefits between manufactured playgrounds and nature playgrounds within a school environment.
Playgrounds are common areas for children to play and when compared to other settings, are considered to be a safe environment as they are generally away from traffic and other hazards which can be found outdoors . Although playground injuries account for only a small number of injuries to children, a large proportion result in hospital admission.
Playground injuries can be attributed to behavioural and environmental factors including:
o Use of equipment not suitable to the age or stage of development of the child
o Inappropriate use of equipment
o Lack of appropriate adult supervision
o Over-crowding
o Poor design or layout of equipment
o Lack of maintenance
Falls are the most common cause of playground related injury. Between 2002 and 2004 in Australia, 12,091 children aged between zero and 14 presented to a hospital with a playground fall injury, accounting for 9.8 percent of total hospital injury separations within this age group. In Western Australia playground injuries have increased, accounting for 5.7 percent of the total injuries to the Princess Margaret Hospital Emergency Department.


Journal article

Geographic Coverage


Journal citation

Kidsafe Western Australia (AUS). 2017 March


Free access


Stepan, A (Author); McKenna , J (Author); Blaszkow, T (Author)


Kidsafe (Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Australia): 2017