10 Safety Tips for a Wood Swing Set
There’s nothing better than watching the little ones laugh and play on the backyard playset. And knowing your wood swing set is sturdy and secure simply adds to this satisfaction! Here are the top 10 safety features every backyard swing set should have.
1. Sanded wood with rounded edges
To avoid splinters and other minor injuries, your swing set should be free of any rough surfaces. A good way to ensure this is to purchase a playset with wood that’s already sanded and rounded on the edges. This way, maintaining the smooth surface will be relatively easy in the years to come.
2.Recessed, tightened hardware
All of our wood swing sets feature recessed hardware, a standard set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPCS). We know how important it is to eliminate anything that your child’s clothing could catch on. At Eastern Jungle Gym, we highly recommend you make sure the swing set you buy has recessed hardware. If you’ve already purchased a swing set that has protruding hardware, consider replacing the hardware, or simply remind the kids to not wear loose or baggy clothing. Also, be mindful to perform annual checks on the swing set to make sure the bolts are tightened properly.
3. Bolts, not nails or staples
Your wood swing set should have only bolts to connect the pieces and parts together. Zero nails or staples should be used to construct your swing set. Nails and staples are simply too weak and they also stick out from the wood, creating a safety hazard for the children playing on it.
4. In-tact accessories and activity areas
If your swing set has been in use for several seasons, it is a good idea to check and make sure the accessories are intact. Look for pulls or tears in the canopy tent top, make sure any playground rope is in good condition, refill the sandbox if necessary, check the wood for additional sanding, etc.
5. A soft surface
The surface on which a swing set sits is oftentimes an afterthought for shoppers, who assume grass is good enough. The best option is a rubber mulch surface. Rubber mulch has a terrific ability to absorb shock, whereas over time, grass loses its ability to do so.
6. Proper handles
Anytime your child is climbing, he or she needs somewhere safe to grip. That’s why we install grab handles at the tops of our ladders and rock walls. This way the youngster has a place to grab when he or she enters the clubhouse. If your swing set didn’t come with this feature, grab handles may be purchased online. We also recommend larger grab handles to run along the side of the stairs. They’re very easy to install, too!
7. Enclosed clubhouse
The clubhouse of your wood swing set should have walls wherever there is a no activity area. A safety rail is necessary for spaces where there is a slide, ramp or ladder that meets the deck of the clubhouse. The wall should have rungs that are about an inch to an inch-and-a-half apart.
8. Separate the monkey bars and swings
The CPCS and the American Society for Testing and Materials recommend monkey bars that do not have swings attached. When you are purchasing your swing set, make sure the monkey bars are separated away from the swings. A good example to display this is our Dreamscape 3 Outdoor Swing Set.
9. Slides with high sides
Your wood swing set should have a slide that features high side rails to ensure that the child is secure as he or she slides down. Super scoop slides are perfect for smaller children because of their high sides.
10. Check the open spaces
Measure any open spaces the playset may have. Make sure open spaces on the swing set are either smaller than 3 1/2 inches or larger than 9 inches to be certain a young child cannot fit his or her head through.
It is important to be aware of these 10 points when purchasing a swing set for your child. After your purchase, continue to keep these tips in mind as you maintain your swing set and replace or add on accessories. If you have any questions about this article, give us a call!