Your backyard may be a great place for your kids to have fun, but is it safe? More than 200,000 kids are treated in the hospital for playground injuries each year. Here’s what you can do to keep your family safe this summer.
- Use soft seats instead of metal or wood. For children less than 3 years old, use swings with enclosed sides.
- Space the swings safely at least 22 inches from one another. Be sure to close “S” hooks.
- Set the swing set in concrete and place energy-absorbent material underneath.
- Periodically check your swing set to make sure no screws or bolts are uncapped, rusted or broken.
- Make sure it has shock-absorbing pads that cover the frame, hooks and springs.
- Add a cage enclosure that keeps anyone from bouncing off.
- Replace the fabric and springs regularly.
- Only let one person jump at a time when there is adult supervision.Don’t allow somersaults or other risky moves.
- Install a fence that has self-locking and self-closing gates. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends a 4-foot barrier.
- Never let anyone swim alone and make sure children are well supervised.
- Have plenty of life vests and other life-saving materials nearby.
- If there are broken or missing drain covers, don’t allow anyone to swim. Replace these immediately.
- Learn CPR and life-saving basics so you can save a life if an emergency happens.
- Choose a strong and sturdy tree that’s far away from electrical wires.
- Don’t place the house any higher than 10 feet.
- Spread mulch or another protective surface underneath the tree house to reduce the shock of a fall.
- Check for rotting and wear each spring.
- Plan for a safe way to get up and down the tree house. Don’t use any ropes or chains.