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All children deserve a safe place to play. Follow these guidelines to make sure your children's play area is safe.
Playground and Playset Safety
Supervise children at all times. Stop dangerous behavior before injuries occur.
Install 4-by-4 corner posts to stabilize the play deck by minimizing the side-to-side sway motion that less substantial dimensional lumber may sometimes allow. A-frame legs are important, too, since they provide a firm footing for the swing beam.
Choose age-appropriate accessories to complement your children's ages. Gradually change age-appropriate accessories as they grow. Kids under the age of five shouldn't play on anything above 5 feet. If they can't climb a wall or swing on their own, then they're not ready for this toy yet.
Consider your yard space when you choose your playset. You need a cleared area that extends 6 feet from all sides of your playset and its accessories. For swings, allow cleared space that extends at least twice the height of the swing beam.
Provide proper, soft surfacing to protect your children in a fall. Loose-fill materials (mulch, wood chips, sand or fine gravel) are recommended, and they should extend at least 6 feet in all directions. The proper fill depth is 9 to 12 inches, depending on the type of material.
Make sure your playset doesn't include spaces between 3 1/2 inches and 9 inches. These spaces could trap a child.
Separate play zones to avoid collisions, and allow sufficient room for children to dismount from toys without hitting another accessory or a child.
Anchor ropes and chains (except those used for swings) at both ends, so they can't be looped back on themselves to reduce the risk of strangulation.
Firmly close all S hooks to prevent a swing accessory from detaching or entangling with clothing.
Examine the set frequently to make sure guardrails or other barriers are intact. Remove trip hazards, like tree stumps, roots, toys and rocks, from the play area.
Make sure all pieces of the playset are in good condition. Look for loose fasteners, protruding bolts or worn chains, ropes or other hardware.
Remove worn-out or neglected playsets immediately to prevent accidents.
Kids' Safety Rules for Playsets
Teach your children safe play rules:
Look: Never run in front of or behind someone who's swinging.