Playground Safety and Design/Expert Profile

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As a third party, I can answer virtually any question about playground safety, as well as sports (trampolines, basketball, baseball, soccer, etc.) and recreation in general, without having a conflict of interest.

Experience in the area

Ex-manufacturer/designer/installer, Certified Playground Safety Inspector (audited THOUSANDS of sites nationwide), designer, expert witness in over 400 cases, help write the national safety standards and guidelines, etc.




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CPSI, Business degree

Awards and Honors

Playground Safety Advocate of the Year Award (2008), by the National Program for Playground Safety.

Past/Present Clients

Disney, IKEA, Sears, numerous plaintiff and defense attorneys, cities, schools, manufacturers, child care centers, etc.

What do you like about this subject?

I like that I can make a difference by minimizing the likelihood of injuries and deaths.

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

To achieve and learn all that I can!

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

There's more to it than just being an inspector.

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

There's more to it than just being an inspector.

Average Ratings

Recent Reviews from Users

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
BARBARA06/18/13101010Scott, Thank you so much. I really .....
Gary03/28/12101010Thank you very much for your help
Faith09/13/09101010This was a lovely surprise. My answer .....
zoe05/29/081010thank you

Recent Answers from Scott Burton


Hi Barbara,  The MINIMUM distance between the impact absorbent surfacing material and the underside of the belt swing seat is 12". If you happen to have a tot (bucket) seat, it's 24" (MINIMUM).    If using

2012-03-28 Playground Safety:

Go by what the manufacturer recommends for the Fall Height they state. Cypress mulch will work at the right depth, depending on fall ht., but it must be placed so that you have a Use Zone specified by

2010-05-28 Playground:

Depth depends on the Fall Height of the equipment (see info from supplier). Border can be treated pine, plastic, or other options by various suppliers. Check out      If installing

2009-10-30 swing set ground cover:

Depending on the state you are in, it may be a law to comply with ASTM & CPSC rules.  Even if it's not law, you should follow the ASTM Standard #F1487-07ae1, and the CPSC Guidelines #325. GENERALLY, swings

2009-06-06 required level of gravel for toddler playground:

It depends on;  1)  The fall height of the equipment  2)  The state you are in (to determine if it's a law or not)    Ultimately, to comply with CPSC & ASTM rules, which have been aroudn for years, pea


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