Are you purchasing a swing set for the backyard soon? Safety first! Read these important Safety Tips for a Child’s Backyard Swing Set.
When proper safety measures are taken, a backyard swing set can bring years of joy to young children.
A backyard swing set is a great source of fun for kids, but this popular outdoor play structure can cause injuries if it is not installed and maintained properly or when it’s not used as intended. Minimize the risk of your children getting hurt on a backyard swing set with these tips.
Safety Tips for a Child’s Backyard Swing Set
Keep Your Children’s Swing Set in Good Condition
Inspect the backyard swing set regularly for protruding edges, rusted or loose screws, broken pieces, and worn or missing parts. If you have a wood swing set in the backyard, check it periodically for splinters, decay, and large cracks if there are damaged pieces, either repair or replace them.
Space and Install the Backyard Swing Set Properly
Oversized children’s playsets can swallow up yard space and sit too close to the house or other structures in the yard. Space the backyard swing set far enough away from structures so that kids have enough room to swing without bumping into anything.
Anchor the swing set into the ground properly before allowing your children to play on it. Also, install and tighten bolts so that the structure won’t collapse while youngsters are swinging. If you don’t know how to assemble and install a backyard swing set, hire a professional to do it.
Use Soft Surface Materials and Enforce Safety Rules
Soft material underneath a backyard swing set can keep kids from suffering serious head injuries and broken bones if they fall. The U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends using a minimum of nine-inches of wood chips, mulch, shredded rubber, sand, or pea gravel underneath children’s play equipment. These surface materials compress over time, so the CPSC suggests refilling them from time-to-time.
Never put a swing set on asphalt or concrete. These surface materials are dangerous and can cause serious injuries or death if a child falls on them. Lawn turf is also not recommended for use under play equipment as weather conditions can cause wear and tear and reduce its ability to absorb the shock of a fall.
Never allow children to walk in front of or behind a swing set when others are swinging on it – they may accidentally get kicked or knocked down. Children should sit in the center of the swing with their full weight on the seat. Also, don’t allow youngsters to stand on the seat of a swing or jump off a swing while it’s still moving.
Dress Children Properly and Provide Supervision
Scarves, ponchos, hoodies, and clothes that have drawstrings are not appropriate for kids to wear on swing sets. These types of garments can get hung up on play structures and cause strangulation. Children’s shoes should cover the entire foot to prevent stumped toes and other foot injuries.
The best way to keep children safe on a backyard swing set is for an adult to supervise at all times. When an adult supervises, she can usually avert danger and minimize the risk of injuries on the swings.
Swing sets are popular outdoor play structures for kids, but when these structures are not installed and maintained properly or when they not used as instructed, they can be dangerous. When adults take the initiative to reduce hazards on backyard swings, they can be a source of wholesome fun for kids.
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