Getting children to play outside and enjoy the fresh air is easy if you set up a nice playground area. To avoid serious injuries and ensure a safe place to play for your children, follow these general guidelines to install.
Choose the right equipment. Items such as trampolines, glider swings for more than one child, exercise rings or trapeze bars are not considered safe and should be avoided. Check the age ranges for the equipment also. Children from 5 to 12 years old have different equipment than what is appropriate for those from 2 to 5 years old.
Pick an appropriate space. It should be free of tree stumps, roots and rocks and in a shady spot. Also, you should be able to see the playground area from inside the house if you'd like to keep an eye on the children while playing.
Measure your equipment you want to install and add 6 to 8 feet from the edges of all points as the play zone. In case of a fall, this extended zone will ensure a soft landing.
Purchase a foot thick of soft material like regular or rubber mulch, pea gravel or sand to be the cushion around the play zone. Borders such as railroad ties or rock borders can be used to keep the material from washing away.
Tips & Warnings
- After you install the equipment, inspect it and the surrounding area often to make sure it's in good shape.
- Hard surfaces such as concrete, asphalt, and even grass are unsafe. Grass can become worn with excessive play and will not cushion a fall.
- Teach your child about safety rules on the playground such as slide feet first, don't roughhouse while climbing, or don't use equipment after it has rained.
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