Safety Tips for Your New Playset
NOTE: Your children’s safety is our #1 concern. Observing the following statements and warnings reduces the likelihood of serious or fatal injury. Please review these safety rules regularly with your children.
- Please see owner’s manual for the deck weight limits and play set occupant capacity.
- On-site adult supervision is required.
- Teach children not to walk close to, in front of, behind, or between moving swings or other moving playground equipment.
- Teach children to sit in and never stand on swings.
- Teach children not to twist the chains and ropes and not to loop them over the swing beam, since this may reduce the strength of the chain or rope.
- Teach children not to jump from swings or other playground equipment in motion.
- Teach children not to push empty seats. The seat may hit them and cause serious injury.
- Teach children to sit in the center of the swings with their full weight on the seats.
- Teach children not to use the equipment in a manner other than intended.
- Teach children to always go down slides feet first. Never slide headfirst.
- Teach children to look before they slide to make sure no one is at the bottom.
- Teach children to never run up a slide, as this increases their chances of falling.
- The parents should have the children dress appropriately with well-fitting shoes. Loose clothing such as scarves and ponchos should not be worn. Always take off, tie up or tuck in cords and drawstrings on children’s clothing. These things can get caught on playground equipment and strangle a child.
- Teach children not to climb when the equipment is wet.
- Teach children to never jump from a fort deck. They should always use the ladder, ramp or slide.
- Teach children to never crawl or walk across the top of monkey bars or swing beam.
- Teach children to never crawl on top of a fort roof or on the outside of a tube slide.
- Teach children to never carry items down a slide with them.
- Verify that any suspended climbing ropes, chains, or cables are secured at both ends and that they cannot be looped around an adult hand.
- Teach children not to attach items to the playground equipment that are not specifically designed for use with the equipment, such as, but not limited to, jump ropes, clothesline, pet leashes, cables and chain as they may cause a strangulation hazard.
- Teach children to never wrap their legs around swing chain.
- Teach children to never slide down the swing chain.
- Teach children to remove their bike or other sports helmet before playing on the playground equipment.
- Teach children to NEVER look at the sun or other bright light through any accessory such as, but not limited to, a telescope, periscope or binoculars.
WARNING: Children must NOT use this play set until it has been completely assembled and inspected by an adult to insure it has been properly installed and the swing beam legs are anchored. Note some sets may not require anchors on the swing beam legs, see owners manual for details.
Playgrounds should be inspected on a regular basis. If any of the following conditions are noted, they should be removed, corrected or repaired immediately to prevent injuries:
- Hardware that is loose, worn or that has protrusions or projections.
- Exposed equipment footings.
- Scattered debris, litter, rocks, or tree roots.
- Splinters, large cracks, and decayed wood components.
- Deterioration and corrosion on structural components, which connect to the ground.
- Missing or damaged equipment components, such as handholds, guardrails, swing seats.
- Check all nuts and bolts twice monthly during the usage season and tighten as required.(But not so tight that you crack the vinyl) It is particularly important that this procedure be followed at the beginning of each season.
- Remove plastic swing seats and take indoors or do not use when the temperature drops below 32°F. Reinstall swings and other swing equipment at the beginning of the usage season.
- Oil all metallic moving parts monthly during the usage period.
- Check all coverings for bolts and sharp edges twice monthly during usage season to be certain they are in place. Replace when necessary. It is especially important to do this at the beginning of each new season.
- Check swing seats, ropes, cables and chains monthly during usage season for evidence of deterioration. Replacement should be made of any swing seat that has developed cracks in the plastic seats. Ropes, cables and chains should be removed and replaced if excessive wear is found. Contact us for warranted replacement parts.
- For rusted areas on metallic members such as monkey bars, hand supports brackets, etc.; sand and repaint, using a non lead-based paint meeting the requirements of Title 16 C.F.R. Part 1303. These requirements are available at: http://www.cpsc.gov/
- Inspect vinyl parts monthly.
- Creating and maintaining the play set on a level location is very important. As your children play, your play set will slowly dig its way into the soil, and it is very important that it settles evenly. Make sure the play set is level and true once each year or at the beginning of each play season.
- Twice a month during the usage season rake the playground protective surfacing materials to prevent compaction and maintain appropriate depths. Replace the protective surfacing materials as required.
- Disposal Instructions: When the play set is no longer desired, it should be disassembled and disposed of in such away that no unreasonable hazards will exist at the time the play set is discarded.
Below are some of the recommendations that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) offers from its Handbook for Public Playground Safety. The guide can be downloaded in full here.
Since almost 60% of all injuries are caused by falls to the ground, protective surfacing under and around all playground equipment is the most critical safety factor on playgrounds.
Certain manufactured synthetic surfaces also are acceptable; however, test data on shock absorbing performance should be requested from the manufacturer.
Asphalt and concrete are unacceptable. They do not have any shock absorbing properties. Similarly, grass and turf should not be used. Their ability to absorb shock during a fall can be reduced considerably through wear and environmental conditions.
Certain loose-fill surfacing materials are acceptable. Surfacing materials are acceptable, such as the types and depths shown in the table:
|Type of material||6” Depth||9” Depth||12” Depth|
|12′ Fall Height||N/A||N/A|
|Double shredded bark mulch||6′ Fall Height||10′ Fall Height||11′ Fall Height|
|Wood chips||6′ Fall Height||7′ Fall Height||12′ Fall Height|
|Fine sand||5′ Fall Height||5′ Fall Height||9′ Fall Height|
|Shredded Tires*||10-12′ Fall Height||N/A||N/A|
|Fine gravel||6′ Fall Height||7′ Fall Height||10′ Fall Height|
* This data is from tests conducted by independent testing laboratories on a 6-inch depth of uncompressed shredded tire samples produced by four manufacturers. The tests reported critical heights, which varied from 10 feet to greater than 12 feet. It is recommended that persons seeking to install shredded tires as a protective surface request test data from the supplier showing the critical height of the material when it was tested in accordance with ASTM F1292.
It should be recognized that all injuries due to falls cannot be prevented no matter what surfacing material is used.
A fall zone, covered with a protective surfacing material, is essential under and around equipment where a child might fall. This area should be free of other equipment and obstacles onto which a child might fall. Stationary climbing equipment and slides should have a fall zone extending a Minimum of 6’ in all directions from the perimeter of the equipment.
Swings should have a fall zone extending a minimum of 6’ from the outer edge of the support structure on each side. The fall zone in front and back of the swing should extend out a minimum distance of twice the height of the swing as measured from the ground to the top of the swing support structure.