If you have children, you’ll appreciate the importance of having a playground in your backyard. It is simply impossible to be available to play with them all the time.
But, a backyard playground gives them the opportunity to have fun while you get your chores done. It also encourages independent play which will help them as they mature.
However, as with anything involving children, you need to evaluate the risks; they simply will not see the hazards!
You should, therefore, follow some basic guidelines to ensure they are safe. Interestingly, the guidelines are also relevant if you are creating a deck space:
Falling off a swing onto concrete means potentially hitting your head; this can cause an array of serious injuries. It is not the most desirable surface.
But, it is an excellent material for providing a level surface, ready for the appropriate flooring.
Of course, if you already have concrete you’ll need to engage a professional concrete scanning service. This will ensure you are aware of what is in the concrete which will be important if you are planning to anchor your deck or playground.
You can then use the level surface to add wood chips, sand, pea gravel or shredded rubber. This will soften the impact of any fall.
It is recommended that you make this top layer at least 6 inches (15cm) deep.
The soft flooring should extend several feet away from the playground equipment; in all directions.
Spacing The Equipment
It may seem obvious that you need to space your equipment out. Of course, it is easy to see how much room your swings will need when the children are really pushing them.
But, what is not so obvious is spacing between other apparatus.
Ideally, have 24 inches between swings and 30 inches between them and the surrounding frame. You also need at least 8 inches between the seat and the ground.
Any climbing apparatus should be positioned separately to the swings and give adequate clearance room for climbing or swinging from bar to bar.
Securing the Playground
Any sharp edge is a potential hazard for children. Hooks and protruding bolts should not exist; no matter how hard they may appear to get to.
Inspect The Playground & Deck
It is essential to visually inspect the playground and any deck you install regularly. Wood swells and shrinks in wet and dry weathers. This and the activity it is being used for places it under a lot of stress. You need to make sure it is not cracking or rotting.
If it does your child could be flung from their playground or you could put your feet straight through your deck!
With a little effort, your backyard playground and deck can be fantastic additions to your home. Installing them requires a look at these guidelines and some common sense. Always think about how your children may use the equipment; not just the way in which the manufacturer intends them to use it! This will help to ensure your playground is safe for all occasions.