Each year, according to National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database (NEISS), there are 200000 children injured badly in playground accident, in which 22% are related to swings.. That is enormous, right? Especially for home playground, with swing sets installed without certification or insurance. Therefore, now I want to discuss a little about the safety swing sets, so as to provide more information about these particular structures. Please read carefully, maybe some falls would not turn fatal.
Here are a few tips to choose safe swing sets:
- For children under 3 years old, choose a toddler swing set with enclosed sides.
- Only purchase swing sets whose swings have a minimum distance between them of about 22 inches (55 meters).
- Only slides which are maximum 10 foot long, with a greatest deck height of 5 foot, should be bought. At this height, a parent standing on the ground can supervise a child without obstacles.
- Check all connections, slowly and carefully so that you will not ignore any errors in the new equipment..
- Make sure that the equipment has no ramp stuck next to the slide! This is highly crucial and I think you can easily understand.
However, installation procedure involves even more in children’s safety. This requires some tasks of measuring and calculating since we need to consider how the outcome would be.
The first and foremost thing to remember is always ‘constructing’ in area where the deck cannot reach. Both sides need at least a distance of 8 foot from the surroundings so that no accident will be caused by a moving swing. Also, we should choose shock absorbing materials for the surface below, such as sand or mulch and avoid grass or slippy materials.
Another thing is to make sure there won’t be room for any collisions or entanglements. From swings to swings and from swings to other side should maintain a particular space of at least 22’ (recommended). In addition, the minimum height of swings’ deck (from the ground to bottom of the seat) is often set at about 4 foot, so that everything is both safe and suitable for your children even until they have grown up. When it comes to toddler swings, people often place the deck at minimum 24 inches above the ground in order that kids cannot swing themselves.
Oh, you should know that the ‘Shooks’, often seen in chains (I hope you are not thinking about ropes now because that would be a total no no!) which connect and fasten the swing seats, is supposed to be closed. Gap between them, even the smallest, can highly cause a variety of accidents and injuries if clothes of your children get snagged. Clevises can replace S hooks, no problem but that won’t work with ‘O rings’ chains.
Many smaller points are left to note down, for example, avoid overhanging object in your zone if the structure’s top can reach it easily (children are so curious and furious sometimes, you know), avoid so sunny zone with easily heated materials, control the number of pupils playing… Maintenance issues are also necessary and done at least twice a year.
One last rule for you, is that you have to always supervise. Every time someone swinging must be accompanied by adult’s presence. Well, I guess this is important and we all know it. But for children at the age of nine or more, it is even better if from the window of your house, all corners are revealed shine and bright. This allows you and your kids to work independently and freely.