Home Playground Remodels: Keep Your Kids Safe

By HomeAdvisor

Updated May 23, 2019

Girl Swinging At Playground

Fresh air and time on a swing set or playground can create memories for children that last a lifetime. However, injuries and trips to the hospital may make memories that are more bitter than sweet. Statistics show that about 200,000 children end up in the emergency room each year due to injuries that could be prevented. Knowing how to make a playground accident-proof and safe for play can make your child’s experience much better.

Adult Supervision Is a Must

The most important part of playground safety is adult supervision to ensure that children are playing safely. Most kids have a wild imagination and a desire to explore the playground beyond simple slides and swings. With an adult keeping an eye, it’ll be safer for the child, who may need someone to stop them before they do something dangerous. Additionally, adults are needed as a first responder in case a child does get injured.

Design Safety and the Playground

The way the playground is designed can also help to minimize the risk of injuries. Having a checklist to determine whether or not the play area is safe can assist parents in protecting their children.

  1. Make sure that the playground uses a safe ground covering to lessen the risk of broken bones if a child falls. Examples of good ground material include mulch, sand, pea gravel, and any rubber-like material.
  2. Ensure that the space around the play equipment extends six feet or more in all directions. Play structures that stand above 30 inches high need to be nine feet apart from each other.
  3. Swing sets should have two swings per bay, and swing set installation should include leaving more space between the swings and other playground equipment to prevent a child from being kicked by someone using the swings.
  4. For all ramps and elevated surfaces, make sure that there are guard rails in place to minimize the chance that a child could fall off.
  5. Keep an eye out for sharp edges or protruding bolts or screws on equipment to prevent cuts and scrapes.
  6. Keep landscape rocks and other types of stones out of reach to ensure that kids won’t be able to throw them at each other.
  7. There should be separate playgrounds for toddlers and older children so that each child is playing with age-appropriate equipment.

Maintenance and Upkeep Matter

Once you’ve completed a playset assembly project in your yard or playground construction in your neighborhood, you’ll need to be sure to keep on top of regular maintenance needs. Maintaining the playground can be as simple as picking up debris around the area and as meticulous as checking that all of the nuts and bolts are snugly in place. Another important aspect of maintenance is checking all of the equipment for wear and tear.

Educate Children on Safety and Rules

Knowing what safety tips to teach your children and setting ground rules is crucial for injury prevention. Make sure your children know how to use each piece of equipment properly, and set rules to make sure use it safely. For instance, once they know how to use the monkey bars, they need to know that they should take turns using them to prevent crowding and potential injuries.

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