Swing sets, and all play sets, are meant for children to play and imagine, but it is important to ensure that they remain safe while doing so, because swing sets are always outside and children are often rambunctious while using them. There are numerous ways to be sure that your swing set is as safe as possible for your children. Below are some guidelines.
Make sure the swing set is well secured. Lumber should be sturdy and secured at its corners to ensure that it is very stable. Low quality lumber and badly secured poles may sway from side to side, but you will want to be sure that your swing set is sturdy and stable to minimize accidents for your children.
Make sure the swing set is well maintained. Proper maintenance will keep your swing set in good condition for a long time, and is paramount to safety. A sturdy swing set can be made unsafe by loosening screws and excessive weathering over years without proper maintenance. Be sure that your swing set is up to date and well maintained to keep safety up to par.
Make sure there is extra clearance around the entire play set. It is good to keep 6-8 feet of clearance around the entire play set, and at least 8-10 feet of extra clearance around the swings. This means that there are no trees or obstructions for a child to bump into while they swing, or tumble into at the bottom of a slide.
Make sure there is a soft landing area all around the play set. The bottom of the play set should be made up of something soft and bouncy to make sure children remain safe when jumping off of slides and swings or in case of a fall. Grass or dirt are not adequate surfaces, instead materials like wood mulch, wood chips, sand, or fine gravel should coat the ground surface of the playset. These materials should extend 6 feet in all directions under the play set, and should be 9 to 12 inches deep depending on the type of material.
Use appropriate accessories for your children’s ages. Children under 3 years of age should have a toddler or baby swing with enclosed sides. Younger ages should be kept away from using tall towers and extra long slides, while they may be appropriate for older ages. Monitor your children’s use of different aspects of the play set that should be used for specific ages and abilities.
Teach your children to play safely on the swing set. Every child should understand how to follow safety rules while playing.
- Always dry a wet play set before playing on it.
- Never run behind or in front of another child that is swinging.
- Always take turns on each accessory.
- Never push or shove other kids on the play set.
With these guidelines, your child is sure to remain safe while playing on a swing set. There should be adult supervision to ensure that the children play safely and calmly, and especially to keep an eye on younger children who could fall quickly. As long as the play set is built solidly and sturdily, and is continually maintained each year, it should be a very safe environment for all children to play.