Now that the weather is warmer and kids are heading outdoors to play, it is important for folks to take some essential precautions to create a safer backyard play environment. According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), there were nearly 47,000 injuries to children under age 15 on home playgrounds within the last few year studied. The possibility of the injuries occurring-ranging from bumps and bruises to head trauma-can be reduced by following some simple guidelines.
“Nothing is more important than active adult supervision to enforce the rules that will help prevent a critical injury on backyard playgrounds,” says Meri-K Appy, president of the nonprofit Home Safety Council. “In addition, parents and caregivers should ensure their children’s play set is age-appropriate and in good condition-and that the top underneath and around the apparatus provides a soft landing if and when their kids do have a tumble.”
Backyard Play Set Safety Tips:
1. Make fully sure your play set has proper surfacing. Proper surfacing is an important component in reducing injuries because of play set fall; however, it’s often an overlooked backyard playground safety feature. Dirt and grass do not provide the correct level of cushioning. Instead, loose fill materials such as wood mulch, wood chips, fine sand or fine gravel is recommended. The material should extend at the very least six feet in every directions and depth should vary from nine to 12 inches, with regards to the surfacing type.
2. Ensure that your backyard play set is sturdy. Lumber sturdiness can be an important element to play set safety. Using four-by-four corner posts will minimize the side-to-side sway motion that less substantial lumber may sometimes cause. Also, be sure that you employ A-frame legs to provide a company footing for the swing beam.
3. Select a backyard play set that meets maximum safety guidelines. Parents also want to select play sets that meet ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) standards. Although these standards are voluntary, they could help assure parents that the play sets were designed with safety in mind. One manufacturer that complies with these guidelines is Swing-N-Slide. It’s introduced an innovative new bracket technology for play set assembly called the Rapid-LOC system. This method features four special brackets combined with self-drilling fasteners, which provide secure anchoring for deck supports, four-by-four uprights and accessory beams. The interlocking nature of the Rapid-LOC brackets keep consitently the play system’s supports tightly locked-even if a mess comes loose-producing a stronger backyard play set.