Legal Requirements for Children’s Playground Fencing

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Legal Requirements for Children’s Playground Fencing

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When it comes to our children, safety is imperative. Children’s playgrounds have their security standards in place even down to the fencing, because not just any fence would be suitable. Although children’s playgrounds fencing doesn’t have actual legal requirements, there are standards that operators should adhere to that ensures children’s safety at all times, or it would be seen as negligence.

Fences have three core functions. The first is obviously to keep kids in one safe area, so they can run around and not wander off anywhere dangerous. It also allows parents to have a bit of peace of mind while letting the kids play.

Fences also keep unwanted dogs out. Parks are a wonderful place for dogs to play too, but it’s a good idea to keep them away from children playing for everyone’s safety.

Type of Fencing

Bow Top railings are the type of fencing that is usually used and designed to hit the safety regulations required for play areas, residential areas and schools. Areas with these railings or have met the legal requirements are approved by the RoSPA.

Fences define an area that’s just for kids. They know this is their place to play!

Strong and Durable Fencing

This type of restricted fencing may be used, due to the area of the playground. For example, if it was an area susceptible to vandalism, timber may not be a desirable choice due to its ability to break and surface area for graffiti. Broken wood and exposed nails can end up being a hazard.

There are other considerations you need to take. If the land’s not flat, then rigid panels may not be suitable. Also, any fencing should not have sharp edges for a play area. Overall, the fencing should be the best possible to avoid having to do repairs often.

Whatever the material, the height should be at a minimum of 1.0m. Secure fixings need to be on the proprietary caps and edgings.


There must be no risk of child entrapment within the fence. The material needs to be robust and able to withstand possible attempted vandalism and the outdoor elements. This safety measure means that the durable coatings should be applied to whatever the material.

Don’t use wood that’s prone to splintering causing possible injuries to children. The surface should stay smooth and again, coated for protection.

Install the fencing, so that if it were to fall inward, it should fall on a piece of playground equipment or a bench. This way it would help preventing it from falling on a child.

kids playing playground swings



Gates can’t open outward into anything hazardous like any roads. If the play area is close to a busy road or pedestrian/cycling path, have the gate open inward. However, if the area is safe, then the gate should open outwards. Having the gate open outwards will also prevent dogs from coming in.

The actual width of the gate should be at least 1.0 to allow pushchairs and wheelchairs through. It’s recommended to have a self-closing mechanism always to keep the gate closed. Keep it a slow close mechanism though to give enough time for wheelchairs and pushchairs to get through.

If gates are a different colour from the rest of the fence, then this makes it easily identifiable.

Finally, just in case, if one gate becomes blocked for whatever reason, the recommendation is for you to have two gates.

We hope you found this information useful – let us know via our Facebook what you’d like to learn more about, or what you found most interesting!