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Merry-Go-Rounds: Revolving into a Safer Ride

For some of us, the merry-go-round was our first taste of a dizzying euphoria that would go on to color our thrill-seeking lives.  For others, the merry-go-round was where we learned the meaning of motion-sickness.  Regardless of which category you fall into, it’s impossible to deny the significant space that the playground merry-go-round filled in our childhoods.  

But like most old playground equipment, merry-go-round components were prone to fault and accident.

As debate rages as to whether or not the merry-go-round has become too dangerous for modern playgrounds, at, we believe the solution is not to get rid of this classic attraction, but to improve it.  When it comes to the merry-go-round, playground equipment suppliers are always looking for fun and safe renovations.

Slowing the Spin

One of the key risk-factors associate with past merry-go-round accidents has been rotation speed, which is now regulated by a component called a governor.  Welded to the frame of the structure, the governor applies pressure to the main support, slowing the rate of rotation.  CPSC guidelines dictate that a safe and secure merry-go-round should not exceed a rotation speed of 13 feet per second.

Design Changes

Merry go rounds have traditionally been composed of a perforated steel platform with multiple handrails for grasping.  A central mounting post is anchored in concrete to stabilize the equipment, with a large ball bearing that facilitates rotation.  

In addition to the rate regulations, safety mandates that merry-go-rounds be stationed no more than 9 inches above the playground’s base surface.  Handrails have long been a required safety feature that have become even more standardized in recent years.  These not only provide children with a support while the structure is in motion, but limit the range of movement on the moving platform.  Handgrips should not extend beyond the perimeter of the platform.

Capacity regulations are determined during construction, as they depend on the diameter of the merry-go-round base.  A 6 foot disc can safely accommodate 8 children, while a 8 foot disc can hold 10, and a 10 foot disc, up to 16.  

The use zone, as outlined by the CPSC, must extend 6 feet beyond the perimeter of the disc and/or rotating platform and must remain free of obstruction.  The spinning platform cannot have any sharp edges, nor should users have access to any shearing or crushing mechanisms.

Most merry go rounds have a door in the post to add grease when necessary.  Annual checkups are recommended to maintain safest use.

New Spinners

Keep in mind, there are many more choices on the market today than the typical merry-go-round or playground roundabout.  A variety of spinning playground attractions are now available that allow a child to stand or sit.  Options such as tea cup merry-go-rounds, whizzy dizzies, sit-n-spins, stand-n-spins, and the new merry-go-cycles.

Be certain, all spinning events and playground merry go rounds for sale at are built to the highest standards of quality and safety.   If you need assistance understanding the merry go round or require further detail, contact live support through chat, email, or phone.