Safety Tips for Backyard Playgrounds

Safety Tips for Backyard Playgrounds

Many families install new playsets for Christmas and safety is easy to overlook during the holidays.  This list provides a quick reminder of some of the things to look out for with backyard playsets.  Rubber mulch is extremely effective but must be maintained to insure best performance.  Rubber Mulch and Wood Fiber Mulch play an important role in playground safety. Regular inspection and routine maintenance are necessary.
Playground Safety Tips for post-holiday fun.  Whether you have just installed a backyard playset as a Christmas gift or currently have a swingset in your backyard, now is the time to double check your set by following some basic playground safety tips.

One of the most important things you can do is minimize the risk of falling. If children do fall, be sure to have the proper safety surface in place.
Monitor young children while at play to insure they are not trying to swing too high. Insure that all railings are in place and secure.
Ensure there is safe surfacing beneath and surrounding all playground equipment in order to minimize the risks of falling.

Recommended surface materials include rubber mulch, wood chips, pea gravel, and if no other alternative is available regular mulch. Each type of material has it’s own limits for shock attenuation.  It is important to use material properly rated for your fall height at the required depth.  Depths must be maintained regularly to be effective.  Rubber mulch has the highest shock rating of any other loose fill material requiring less material.

Avoid playgrounds with grass, dirt and soil surfaces under the equipment.Surfacing should be rated to the fall height of your playset.  The safety surface should extend at least 6 feet in all directions around equipment.   For swings, make sure that the surfacing extends, in the back and front, twice the height of the suspending bar, so if the top of the swing set is 10 feet high, the surfacing should extend 20 feet.

Inspect for any trip hazards.  Rubber swing mats can reduce the ruts left from dragging feet under swings and at the end of slides.
Make sure that borders are in place and secure.  Watch out for cracked or splintered wooden borders and repair or replace as needed.
Inspect wooden playsets for rotted or cracking wood that could lead to nasty splinters or cuts.

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