Swing Set Safety Tips
First of all, you should refer to the individual manufacturers Safety manual for specific Safety tips as they will outline specific safety requirements for their individual Swing sets in greater detail. You can also refer to the Product Consumer safety commission guidelines which have specific guidelines on safety for the playground. Here are some broader Safety tips broken down in the following categories:
Swing Set safety Tips – General
Swing Set safety Tips – Safety Zone
Swing Set safety Tips – Base
Swing Set safety tips – General
- If you are near a road, river or water-pond, make sure to the entire area is securely fenced off.
- Choose a Swing set that is suitable and appropriate for their age or something that they can quickly grow into.
- Also choose an area for the swing set that is free from rocks and exposed tree roots.
- If you decide to go for a cheaper Swing set for Kids, then be aware that the cheapest slides are made from plastic only and can break over time, so be sure to check the slides so that the quality has not deteriorated. Go for hardened plastic / fiberglass options instead.
- Metal slides can become scorching hot in sunny climates so seek alternative options as they will be more comfortable to use.
- Swing should be 22 inches apart and the minimum guide height of the swing from the ground should be 400mm for single swings and a maximum height of 635mm for cradles.
- Avoid loose clothing in the event they get caught up in the chains.
- Monkey bars should be kept separate from the swing to avoid a fall from the Monkey bars onto a child on a swing.
- Young children under the age of 3 should have special wrap around seats so that they won’t topple over – this is a crucial Safety tip!
- Supervise the kids regularly while at play and teaching them best practices, examples - sitting in the middle of the swing / not to walk in front of a moving swing / not to climb up the slides / not going down slides headfirst / not twisting ropes etc.
- Place the swing in an area that can be seen from your kitchen or sitting room windows so that the children can still be supervised as they get older.
- Teach the kids to be extra careful when the Swing set is wet as surfaces will make them more prone to slip and fall.
- Avoid adding other features from around the garden to the Swing set, for example skipping ropes or left over twine. These should never be allowed to become suspended from the Swing set as they are a serious safety hazard.
- Instruct the children not to be looking directly into the sunlight from the toy accessories such as telescope.
- Remove and replace any damaged part such as seats, ropes, chains etc.
- Metal parts that are rusted should be removed and upgraded.
- Check the metal nuts and bolts twice per month and fasten where required.
- Treat the Swing set with a suitable Oil based or Water based sealant at the start of every season as part of the maintenance program.
- If splinters appear, use sandpaper to smooth them off so they would cut their fingers.
- Implement a maintenance program as outlined within this website which will prolong its use and ensure the safety of your children.
Swing Set safety tips – Safety Zone
- Set up a Swing Set Safety zone (or Fall Zone) with 6 feet on each side so you will need to check you have enough space for the Swing set and also the Safety zone to surround it.
- The front and back of the swings will need a further area and is determined by the height of the unit, so if the Swing set is 9 foot high, then you need to extend the Safety zone to 18 foot in front and the same at the back or as close as this as possible. (recommended guideline is twice the height of the Swing set either side)
Swing Set safety tips – Base
- Make sure that the Swing set is secured to the ground in suitable anchors or concrete so that it won’t rock or shake when the kids are swinging on the unit.
- Also make sure the area where the Swing set is being installed is level so that there will be an even balance of the unit.
- Rake the base of the unit and add additional Mulch or sand or even shredded rubber to ensure soft landings ideally to a minimum depth of 9 inches. These materials all have shock absorbing properties. If the height of the fall is 10 foot high, then add 3 more inches to ensure that there will be a cushioned landing.
- Rubber safety mats can be a quick and easier solution and can be laid directly under the Swing set with interlocking joints. They are slip resistant, water can soak through and are child friendly so the one major advantage with them is that the children can play all year round on them and you don’t need to refill with mulch or sand. They even keep the Children’s clothes and shoes a lot cleaner! The only disadvantage is that they need to be placed on asphalt or concrete so you may not want to go ahead with this option of paving or laying concrete in your back garden. As a guide with the Rubber safety mats, the thicker 100mm mats can be used directly under the Swing set where it is the highest fall while the Thinner 30mm mats can be used at the end of the slide where the critical fall height is low but please refer to manufacturers guidelines. If you already have a concrete or asphalt base down, then these rubber mats are ideal.
After all this, I hope you have received some clarity on Swing set safety and if you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact me by leaving a comment below
My husband and I are planning to have a swing set installed in our yard for the kids to play in. I’ll be sure to keep the numbers in mind; that’s 6 feet of safety zone on each side. Is it good to use wood chips or is sand a better option for the area around the swings? Thanks!
Hi there, both are equally good around the swings but the wood chips will be better in terms of keeping your children’s clothes and shoes cleaner. A large bag delivery of wood chips will also spread a lot further around the swing than the sand. Thanks for stopping by and best wishes to you and your family.