It’s not too early to start thinking about providing your kids with a Springtime surprise — a backyard swing set or playground. In fact, it’s best to start early because there are a number of considerations to take into account when planning for a safe backyard playground experience.
Location is key! Be sure to select the best spot for your new playground set:
- Avoid ground that slopes or is uneven. Level ground helps prevent a playground set from tipping.
- Select a spot that is away from potentially dangerous obstacles such as trees, low branches and wires, stumps, roots, large rocks, fences, bricks, and concrete.
- Plan for a safety zone of at least 6 feet around all playground equipment; set aside even more space in front of and behind swings.
- Plan the location and position of any metal or dark-colored slides or surfaces. Placing these out of direct sunlight can help prevent burns on hot, sunny days.
Falls will happen! Don’t forget to choose a proper protective surface for under and around the playground equipment:
- Grass and dirt are not adequate protection from injuries due to falls.
- Pea gravel, sand, wood chips, and shredded or recycled rubber mulch are some recommended protective playground surface options. (Further details about the variety of protective playground surfaces will be discussed in future postings.)
In my next post on the topic of backyard playground safety, I’ll go into more detail about the variety of protective safety surface materials available. You should then be able to make a more informed decision regarding the best choice of surface material to use under and around your playground equipment.