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Playset Safety Checklist

Playset Safety

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:

  1. Look: Never run in front of or behind someone who's swinging.
  2. Share: Take turns on climbers, slides and swings.
  3. Dry It: Don't play on the playset if it's wet.
  4. Be Nice: Don't push, shove or roughhouse.