When choosing a Play system or outdoor play area for your children to enjoy at your home, be sure to look at the safety features of the equipment before you buy. Some of the mega-store playsets aren’t safe enough, and have cheaply made materials that won’t last. You will be looking at your kid’s playset for many years, so you want to be sure it is good fit for your family.
You should be able to pick the style that suits their needs, fits in your backyard with extra room around the sides, and that one that is most age-appropriate for your children to grow with and have fun on.
Check for these safety features before buying a new playset for your children:
1. Recessed bolts that won’t stick out and tear clothing or hurt fingers. Make sure that the build plan does not call for or use nails. Nails can back out of wood over time, and cause injuries and punctures. Make sure that bolts and recessed holes for placement are used.
2. Covered chains that are sturdy, but lighter weight than industrial metal materials. Painted or colored chains are not the same. It needs a plastic coating over where their small hands will be gripping the chain. I chose the swing set with a plastisol coasting, which I thought was a great purchase. It covers the chain, but allows it to breathe without trapping water.
3. Quality wood that will last, and withstand the weather for years to come. Make sure it is pressure treated, solid pieces.
4. Sturdy plastic slides that retain color and keep cool in the sunlight. Some slides are too thin, and they buckle when an older or heavier child uses it. Make sure the slide is thick! And don’t ever get a metal slide, they are too hot in the sun.
5. Check for pre-sanded and smooth out surfaces and corners of the wood, to prevent injuries.
6. Look for the product warranty or manufacturer’s warranty, and compare brands. Inspecting the details of the warranty is important, since you will have this at your home for many years.
7. Check to see if they are made in the U.S. Other countries safety standards are not the same as ours, and this may create safety issues.
8. Read the customer approval ratings and feedback on other websites. Don’t just check their website and believe what it says. Be sure to be thorough in your search for brand satisfaction and wood sustainability.
9. If you plan on building it yourself, look for a plan that you can manage. Make sure and read how difficult it is to build it, before you buy it. Joints with tongue and groove options are great, since its less hardware, and it implies a solid build surface.
10. Check the company history, or longevity. Were they around five years ago? Have they had any complaints? You will need support from customer service if you have questions, so make sure they will be there to answer the phone if you do have to call.
11. Make sure that the steps or ladder-steps are flat, and not rounded poles. The old-style rounded step posts allow for kids to slip off if they are wet. Look for flat edges.
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