Surface-specific fall injury rates on Utah school playgrounds

Am J Public Health. 1993 May;83(5):733-5. doi: 10.2105/ajph.83.5.733.


The purpose of this study was to estimate surface-specific rates of fall injuries on school playgrounds. Playground injuries related to falls from climbing equipment and the surfaces involved were identified from injury reports for 1988 to 1990 from 157 Utah elementary schools. Enrollment data and playground inspections were used to estimate student-years spent over each surface. The fall injury rates per 10,000 student-years were asphalt, 44; grass, 12; mats, 16; gravel, 15; and sand, 7. These data did not show that impact-absorbing surfaces reduce fall injuries on playgrounds better than grass. Improved field studies are needed to guide policy decisions for playground surfacing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Play and Playthings*
  • Schools*
  • Utah / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control