Backyard playsets are a brilliant addition to your outdoor space. Not only do they keep children occupied and entertained for hours at a time, but they also encourage children to get outside and have fun.
Time spent outdoors, running, climbing and jumping is beneficial for their health, both mental and physical. These kinds of activities help young children in the development of their gross motor skills, too, making playsets a great learning toy.
A good quality playset should last for years, so they are a brilliant investment that will last through your child’s playing years. However, with a playset being such a large and heavy piece of equipment, it is really important that you take some steps to ensure that your child is always as safe as possible when using the equipment.
Here are 5 Things to Remember:
#1. Buy A Good Quality Playset
A good quality playset is a must. You are looking for a set that is made from durable, high quality materials with suitable, robust fixings holding it together. Not only will this mean that the playset should be safer, but also that it should last longer, meaning that it is a better investment for your money.
When researching which backyard playset to buy, read online reviews and testimonials thoroughly or get word-of-mouth advice from trusted friends. Look out for comments about the sturdiness of the set, and the durability and quality of materials. Are other customers completely happy that their children are safe when using the equipment?
Is the playset easy to put together according to reviews? With a playset that is simple to assemble, you can be more confident that you have assembled it correctly and that safety has not been compromised.
#2. Make Sure the Equipment Is Appropriately-Sized
It’s very tempting, especially when making a large purchase, to buy something a little on the large size in the hope that it will get more years of use. Unfortunately, oversized equipment for little children can be dangerous. Small children are still developing their strength, coordination, and sense of balance. This means they are more likely to slip and fall.
For younger children, choose a playset with parts that aren’t too high off the ground. If your child is not able to climb up the equipment independently or with relative ease, then it is likely that it the equipment is too high to be safe. Choose accessories, such as baby swing seats, that are age appropriate, too.
Always use common sense and count your child’s safety as the highest priority in any purchase decision.
#3. Choose the Right Location for The Playset
Even the highest-quality playset can be unsafe if placed in the wrong location, so choose your spot wisely.
- Firstly, ensure the location is in a good line of sight from indoors so that you are always able to supervise your children.
- Secondly, pick a spot that is clear of danger such as protruding branches, sharp or jutting rocks and similar items which pose safety risks.
- Thirdly, keep in mind the climate and weather patterns in your area. Choosing a part of your backyard that is in direct sunlight for much of the day can limit the safe use of the equipment during the warmest months. Conversely, picking a spot that is too dark and shady can mean equipment is more likely to be affected by damp, making it too slippery to use at times.
- Finally, set your playset on a soft surface to improve its safety. Rubber pavers are durable, clean and best suited to areas with a wetter climate. On the other hand, sand also offers a safe landing space, as long as it is regularly checked for hidden hazards.
#4. Teach your children how to use the playset safely
Even with the highest level of supervision, accidents can occur. These are less likely to happen if children have been sufficiently advised about how to use the playset safely.
From the beginning, set and reinforce rules that will help keep your kids (and their playmates) safe. Make sure your children know how to take turns safely, not to play roughly on or near the equipment, and not to get too close to a moving swing or the bottom of the slide.
#5. Perform routine checks and maintenance periodically
Once your playset is set up and already being used, you will need to regularly check it over to ensure that it is safe. The frequent use of the playset, plus climate and temperature changes, can all cause the subtle loosening of fixings.
Check and tighten connections every couple of weeks, as well as examine the whole playset regularly for damage or deterioration. Also, ensure that the plastic safety caps that sit over bolts are still in place.
Secure Your Peace of Mind as Your Kids Have Fun
Investing your money in appropriate, good quality playset equipment is vital.
But, investing time in making sure that the playset is well-situated and well-maintained is even more important. Get these things right, and your child should have years of happy, safe and fun play ahead of them.
Michael Davies is the Senior Account Manager at Sandleford, a trusted supplier of letterboxes and home security products and solutions in Australia. The company’s Swing Slide Climb range has grown and grown over the past 4 years, and together with Bunnings Australia, it has become one of the most exciting and innovative suppliers and developers of children’s play equipment in the Australian market.