Outdoor Activity Space


(a) There shall be at least 75 square feet per child of outdoor activity space based on the total licensed capacity.

(1) The following areas shall not be included in the calculation of outdoor activity space:

(A) Swimming pools and adjacent pool decking.

(B) Natural or man-made hazards such as canals, cliffs, condemned buildings, creeks, lakes, ocean fronts, mines, power lines, quarries, rivers, ravines, swamps, watercourses and areas subject to flooding.

(b) The outdoor activity space shall be situated to:

(1) Provide a shaded rest area for the children.

(2) Permit children to reach the outdoor activity space safely.

(c) Equipment and activity areas shall be arranged so that there is no hazard from conflicting activities.

(d) The surface of the outdoor activity space shall be maintained:

(1) In a safe condition for the activities planned.

(2) Free of hazards including, but not limited to, holes, broken glass and other debris, and dry grasses that pose a fire hazard.

(e) As a condition of licensure, the areas around and under high climbing equipment, swings, slides and other similar equipment shall be cushioned with material that absorbs falls.

(1) Sand, woodchips and peagravel, or rubber mats commercially produced for the purposes of (e) above, are permitted.

(2) The use of cushioning material other than that specified in (e)(1) above shall be approved by the Department prior to installation.

(f) Sandboxes shall be inspected daily and kept free of hazardous foreign materials.

(g) The playground shall be enclosed by a fence to protect children and to keep them in the outdoor activity area. The fence shall be at least four feet high.

(1) The intent of this requirement is to have a fence that will keep children from leaving the outdoor activity area unnoticed but will not in and of itself present a hazard. For example, a split-rail fence wouldn't necessarily keep children from leaving the outdoor activity area and is therefore not appropriate. On the other hand, a barbed-wire fence is not appropriate because it presents a hazard.

(h) Any construction or equipment that could pose a hazard in the outdoor activity area shall be made inaccessible to children in care. This shall include, but not be limited to, incinerators, air- conditioning equipment, water heaters and fuse boxes.

NOTE: Authority cited: Section 1596.81, Health and Safety Code. Reference: Sections 1596.72, 1596.73, 1596.81, and 1597.05, Health and Safety Code.

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