Parents all over the world know the hassle and stress of keeping up with young children. They’re energetic, excitable and tireless. Keeping them occupied so that one can do something else important is a necessity.
Playgrounds are very useful in situations like these. The children can run, jump and play in a safe environment and a parent just supervises with ease.
Unfortunately, a playground isn’t always a convenient solution, so it makes sense to have a scaled-down version of a playground in the backyard of a house.
To ensure that your investment is effective in providing entertainment for toddlers and efficient on the bank account, here’s a list of things worth considering when buying the right swing set.
1. Make a long-term consideration
Kids grow up, and they grow up quickly. So, when buying a swing set, you need to make sure to not home in on the one perfect for them right now. You’ll end up having to buy a new one when they outgrow the old one.
A bigger swing set might seem like a risk right off the bat, but it’ll pay off in the long term. You might consider a set with 5-foot-high deck. It’ll benefit the younger kids, and it’ll last when they grow up.
Also, the number of kids using the set will need to be considered. Many kids fighting over a small swing set is a disaster that will not be easily quelled, and an overly appointed swing set for just one or two kids is wasteful.
2. Where will the set be placed?
A practical consideration that cannot be overlooked is the design of the set you choose and how it will fit into your yard properly. An area free of obstacles like rocks, overhanging tree branches, and thorny plants is essential for safety.
The extra space around the set is also critical, especially for the swings. When kids use the swings, they will need extra space for the arch height of the swing as it moves back and forth. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) requires a safety buffer zone of twice the height of the crossbar of the swing.
The ground that the swing set is placed on is also important to consider. Given that kids will be playing on and around it, they are practically guaranteed to fall multiple times. The harder the surface, the higher the chances that a child gets injured. A soft surface, with wood mulch, sand or grass, will lead to fewer injuries.
3. What is the set made of?
The materials that go into making the swing set are also of utmost importance. They will determine how safe the swing is, how long it’ll last and how much maintenance will be required over the years.
Wood is the usual choice for a swing set, and it offers sturdy construction and appealing visuals. Unfortunately, deterioration is a problem with wooden swing sets. The set will require staining preservative treatments over time, and then splinters can develop and cause injuries to kids. If regular maintenance is performed, the wood will dry out, the nuts and bolts will become loose, and the swing set loses stability and security. The type of wood used is also necessary to consider.
Cedar and Redwood are affordable and naturally resistant to deterioration, but cedar must be sufficiently thick to provide adequate strength and support whilst Redwood’s quality has been in decline for a while. Premium Preserved Pine provides the most durable of materials given how the wood is preserved and preshrunk. The two processes minimize damage caused by shrinking, warping, cracking, cupping and fungal decay. Pine’s ability to withstand harsh weather and absorb more moisture than Redwood and Cedar gives it an even longer lifespan.
Metal swing sets provide long-lasting strength and durability. They also come in a variety of colors for visual appeal. The major problems with metal sets are rusting and heating, which also requires maintenance to keep in check. Touching up scraped and scratches in the metal to prevent rusting will help the swing set last for years.
Sets made of recyclable materials require much less in the way of maintenance and won’t give children injuries associated with wood and metal swing sets. They are also more expensive and provide less in the way of activities. They also lack visual appeal as their colors fade in the sun and they might not fit your landscape design.
4. What activities does the playset have?
When choosing a swing set, options are always nice to have. You never know where a child’s interest might lie or how often they might change. In this way, customization of the swing set is a necessity. It can be done to accommodate age or preference but just the fact that it can be done is always nice to know. Popular swing set activities include:
• Belt Swings
• Wavy Slide
• Climbing Wall
• Climbing Cargo Net
• Trapeze Bar
• Monkey Bar
• Club House
• Captain’s Wheel
5. How safe is the swing set?
Safety of the swing set goes beyond where the set is placed. The design and construction of the swing set must be performed with the goal of protecting children from harm.
• There should be no sharp or rough edges or open S hooks to snag clothing and cause injuries.
• The swing set should be anchored in concrete for maximum stability.
• Decks and slide platforms should have guard rails to prevent.
• The recommended age and weight restrictions should be adhered to.
• Swing chains should have grips.
• The rungs on a step or rope ladders should follow the same size guidelines.
• Loosely fitting clothing and jewelry shouldn’t be worn on or around the swing set.
• All bolts and nuts on the swing should be fitted properly
• The set should have no lead paint or hazardous wood treatment.
• Lightweight swings are less likely to cause injuries when accidentally striking a child
• Remember, nothing ruins fun quicker than an unforeseen injury