Tag Archives: Swing set safety

4 Tips for Choosing the Safest Swing Set Location

Swing Sets

Before constructing your new backyard swing set this spring, make sure to think carefully about where the best and safest location will be for the playground equipment.  Use the following 4 guidelines to help you choose just the right spot:

  1. Consider the ground — Level ground is the ideal place to situate a backyard swing set.  Equipment placed on ground that is uneven or sloping can cause a swing set to tip when in use.
  2. Check the surroundings — Avoid placing swing set equipment near obstacles or hazards like trees and tree stumps, low tree limbs, exposed roots, wires, fences, large rocks, bricks, and concrete.
  3. Create a safety zone — Ensure that there will be at least 6 feet of space around all swing set equipment.  Increase that number for the area in front of and behind swings.
  4. Keep it cool — Metal and dark-colored slides and surfaces get extraordinarily hot and can burn skin if they are placed in direct sunlight.  Position the backyard swing set equipment so that slides and any dark surfaces will be out of direct sunlight for most of the day.

Planning ahead and carefully choosing the safest and most suitable location for your backyard swing set is the first significant contribution you make when it comes to playground safety.  Once your swing set is in place, it’s hard to go back and move it to a better location, so take some time to be sure that it’s right from day one.

7 Steps for Safe Swing Sets

Safe Swing Sets

Before you know it, your kids will be clamoring to get outside and play on their backyard swing set.  So, now is the time to check the swing set and equipment to be sure that it’s ready for another year of heavy use.  Follow these 7 steps to ensure a safe start to the season:

  1. Check the overall condition of the swing set — signs of wear and tear include broken or missing parts, bent tubing or pipes, splintering or decaying wood surfaces, and rusted metal surfaces.  Replace worn or damaged parts and repair surfaces as needed.
  2. Examine the condition of swing seats, chains, ropes, cables, and other swing set equipment and accessories for wear.  Replace worn or damaged equipment.
  3. Check and tighten all the nuts and bolts on your swing set.
  4. Make sure the protective caps on the ends of bolts are still in place.
  5. Oil all the moving metal parts with a squirt or two of WD40.
  6. If your swing set includes a sandbox, replace old sand with new, or ensure that existing sand is free from debris before allowing kids to play in it.
  7. Replace the protective surface beneath the swing set with new material or replenish what is already there.

Ideally, you should check your backyard swing set for safety every month, especially if your kids subject it to heavy use.  Doing so takes only a few minutes and goes a long way toward preventing common swing set injuries and accidents.