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What to Look for in Swing Set Accessories

When it comes to your kids, you want only the best -- the safest, strongest, highest quality, and so on. Here at Eastern Jungle Gym, we share the same philosophy, which is why we make sure everything from our playsets to our hardware to our swing set accessories are top notch.

With spring's arrival (and summer's not too far off), we wanted to share a few tips on what to look for in a swing set accessory, to ensure that the products you're buying are designed with your child's well-being in mind. Here's what we suggest:

-- UV-protection: Swing set accessories that are equipped with built-in protection against ultraviolet rays won't heat up as quickly in the summer sun as accessories that lack UV protection. This feature also adds to the life of your playset, as the color of the items (tent top canopies, swings, slides and more) won't fade as quickly.

-- Ladders with grab handles: If you're thinking about building a wooden step ladder or adding one to your backyard playground, be sure to include a set of safety grab handles. These aren't as necessary on ladders that have rungs, as the kids can use the rungs to hold onto. But with step ladders, they're a must! We suggest grab handles that have pebbles or grips to ensure the kids get a secure hold.

-- Coated swing chains: To avoid pinched fingers, your swing chains should be of the straight-coil variety, with a soft coating (like plastisol) covering part of the chain to protect their little hands.  A coating will provide a soft surface for them to grip. We recommend the rings on your gym ring trapeze bar combo be coated in a soft plastic, too, for the same reasons.

Bucket swing for baby This full bucket swing features plastisol coating, one of the things you should look for when buying swing set accessories.

-- Avoid magnified binoculars or telescopes: Toy binoculars and telescopes are best for the swing set, as the children won't damage their eyes by looking up at the sun through a magnified view.

--  Inspect different swings for safety: If you're purchasing a baby swing, make sure it's a full bucket with a high back, so your little one is properly supported. For the half bucket swings, which many people use for their toddlers, not only should there be a high back, but also a strong chain that secures in front of the child. This chain should always be latched when your youngster is swinging. And with a tire swing, it's best to use an actual tire rather than a hard, plastic one.

-- Playground rope: The last thing you want is a rope that irritates your child's hand, or splinters and frays. For this reason we recommend playground rope (which is used on everything from gang plank ramps to Jacob's Ladders) be made of nylon, rather than polyester.

-- Climbing holds for the rock wall: Whether you're constructing your own rock climbing wall for the kids, or buying a swing set that features one, it's a good idea to consider the number of rock holds. If your children are young, you may want to consider adding some additional holds, so they are gathered somewhat close together. Once your kids are a bit older and their skill level allows, you can remove a few to make the activity more challenging.

We hope you've found this blog post informative. Please feel free to send any questions about swing set accessories (or anything else playset-related!) our way!

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