Playground Playsets > Design • Safety
First of all, be sure to locate your playground in an area that is not next to hard surfaces, like fences or walls on which a child could injure himself. When building your playground, be sure to drive nails and set screws so they are flush with the wood surface. Children can seriously injure themselves on nails and screws that stick out when they are playing on the equipment. When you have finished building your structure, double-check nails and screws once again. Even if they are driven into the wood during the building process, nails and screws can pop out. You'll also want to double-check for nails or screws driven completely through boards that are sticking out on the other side. If you do happen to notice some of these, you can clip the end off or grind it down so it's flush with the board.
Holes for anchor bolts should be countersunk so the heads and nuts are recessed. Crimp hooks with pliers so that sharp edges are not exposed. To prevent splinters, treat the entire surface with a child-safe wood preservative.
Always be sure that the structures are securely mounted or anchored to the ground. Depending upon the structure you build, you can do this in several ways — by staking it into the ground, by mounting it on a wood skid foundation, by fastening it to concrete footings, or by fastening it with auger anchors.
Choose the playground surface carefully, and be sure to stay away from hard surfaces like asphalt, concrete, dirt, and grass. Instead, try softer surfaces like wood mulch, wood chips, engineered wood fibers, sand, pea gravel, or shredded tires.
Finally, be sure to regularly inspect your playground for wear and tear, loose boards or connections, loose rails, and protruding nails and screws.
CPSC Playground Safety RecommendationsThe United States Consumer Product Safety Commission offers these safety recommendations to help prevent injuries from falls and other hazards on home playgrounds:
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Playground Safety - Playground Equipment Safety Tips