A few things to consider when buying a swing set

A few things to consider before you buy a new swing set:

Having a swing set in the backyard for their children is probably every parent’s dream. They provide a great way for the kids to exercise and develop strength, balance, use their creative imagination and increase their resistance against many types of allergies, but there are some things to consider before buying.

Since most young families today live on a tight budget, pricing is a major factor when you start planning for your swing set as they can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars for a basic set, up to several thousands for more elaborate set with many features.

While safety may not be in the thoughts of children minds, safety is definitely a primary concern. Each year, more than 200,000 children go to the emergency room with injuries associated with playground equipment. Most are related to falls from the equipment to the ground. Many can be easily prevented. Items to check include the hardware; are there any open “S” hooks or protruding bolt ends? Does the equipment have any sharp edges or points? Are there any spaces that could trap children, such as openings in guard rails or between steps rungs? Does the play set have any metal accessories (slides, monkey bars, etc.) made of any metals that can reach temperatures high enough to cause serious contact burn when used? Different swing sets and manufacturers offer different safety features so check them out thoroughly before buying. Check the children clothing and shoes before they go on the swing set. Loose strings, loops and shoe laces are a major cause of injuries. Keep the play area, around the swing set free of tree roots that can cause falls, any kind of debris that doesn’t belong there and cover holes or grooves left by any previous swing set or other structure.

•Backyard layout:
The size, slope and layout of your backyard will be a factor into your final decision. You do not want a play set that overpowers the layout of your yard, but instead compliments your yard and overall home appeal. In short, you want the right fit for the size of your yard. Also, it is important that you have enough level space suited for a swing set. If your yard is rocky or sloping in several places, you may need to landscape or level that section of the yard prior to assembling the unit. Consider other issues such as drainage and the type of material that will be used under and around the play set. In other words, is grass adequate for breaking any potential spills? Should you pad the surface with mulch, pea gravel, shredded rubber or some other kind of cushioning material? With statistics showing us that 70 percent of play set injuries are caused by falls to the ground, the type of impact-absorbing surface that you have under the play set is definitely an important consideration and the pricing for it should also be a factor because they can add to the cost considerably.

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