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Swing Set Safety

Swing Set Safety

Safety Tips

When considering purchasing a wood swing set, always consider your child's safety. The following are a few tips we suggest you follow and have your children follow to help keep them safe.

  • Most of our swing sets require a 6' safety zone be placed around the set's perimeter. This is to ensure that your child has plenty of space to enjoy all of the features of the playset without interfering with any surrounding landscape features, i.e. trees, fences and driveways. Look out for any features that may interfere with another.

  • It is recommended that on site adult supervision for children of all ages be present while playground equipment is in use.
  • Please keep children from walking close to, in front of, behind, or between moving items.
  • Keep children from twisting swing chains or ropes (or loop them over the swing beam) since this may reduce the strength of these items.
  • Warn children to avoid swinging empty seats.
  • Teach children to sit in center of swings with their full weight on the swing seats - never stand on swings.
  • Teach children to use the playground equipment in the intended manner.
  • Teach children not to get off play equipment while still in motion (no jumping from moving swings).
  • Teach children to always go down slides feet first. Never slide headfirst.
  • Teach children to look before they slide to make sure no one is at the bottom.
  • Teach children to never run up a slide, as this increases their chances of falling.
  • Parents should make sure children are dressed appropriately. For example; wear well fitting clothing, shoes, avoid ponchos, and scarves or any loose fitting clothing, which is potentially hazardous while using the playground equipment.
  • Keep children from climbing on playground equipment when wet.
  • Teach children to never jump from a fort deck. They should always use the ladder, ramp or slide.
  • Teach children to never crawl or walk across the top of monkey bars, the swing beam, a fort roof, or on the outside of a tube slide.
  • Teach children to never carry items down a slide with them.
  • Verify that any suspended climbing ropes, chains, or cables are secured at both ends and that they cannot be looped around an adult hand.
  • Teach children not to attach items to the playground equipment that are not specifically designed for use with the equipment, such as, but not limited to, jump ropes, clothesline, pet leashes, cables and chain as they may cause a strangulation hazard.
  • Teach children to remove their bike or other sports helmet before playing on the playground equipment.
  • Teach children to NEVER look at the sun or other bright light through any accessory such as, but not limited to, a telescope, periscope or binoculars.
  • Check all nuts and bolts twice monthly during the usage season for tightness. Tighten as required. It is particularly important to check & tighten bolts at the beginning of each season.
  • Check swings, chains, and slides for cracks or deterioration. Replacement should be made at first sign of deterioration.
  • Please see assembly manual for the deck weight limits and play set occupant capacity.

Surfacing Recommendations

Since almost 60% of all injuries are caused by falls to the ground, protective surfacing under and around all playground equipment is the most critical safety factor on playgrounds.

Certain manufactured synthetic surfaces also are acceptable; however, test data on shock absorbing performance should be requested from the manufacturer.

Asphalt and concrete are unacceptable. They do not have any shock absorbing properties. Similarly, grass and turf should not be used. Their ability to absorb shock during a fall can be reduced considerably through wear and environmental conditions.

Certain loose-fill surfacing materials are acceptable. Surfacing materials are acceptable, such as the types and depths shown in the table:

Fall Height (in feet) from which a life
threatening head injury would be greatly reduced
Type of Material 6" Depth 9" Depth 12" Depth
Gorilla Playsets Premium Rubber Mulch 12' Fall Height N/A N/A
Double shredded bark mulch 6' Fall Height 10' Fall Height 11' Fall Height
Wood chips 6' Fall Height 7' Fall Height 12' Fall Height
Fine sand 5' Fall Height 5' Fall Height 9' Fall Height
Shredded tires* 10-12' Fall Height N/A N/A
Fine gravel 6' Fall Height 7' Fall Height 10' Fall Height

Fall Zones

A fall zone, covered with a protective surfacing material, is essential under and around equipment where a child might fall. This area should be free of other equipment and obstacles onto which a child might fall. Stationary climbing equipment and slides should have a fall zone extending a minimum of 6’ in all directions from the perimeter of the equipment (as stated above).

Swings should have a fall zone extending a minimum of 6’ from the outer edge of the support structure on each side. The fall zone in front and back of the swing should extend out a minimum distance of twice the height of the swing as measured from the ground to the top of the swing support structure.