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Family and Swing SetSetting up a backyard play set is like a rite of passage for parents. As this process continues, many parents begin to wonder if it will ever be done. Inevitably, the project gets finished, and it's all worth it once the children start enjoying it, but these slides, swings and ladders all have inherit dangers in them too. When letting your children — along with friends and neighbors — play on your backyard swing set, consider some of these safety tips.
  1. Make sure the structure is on completely level ground.
  2. Choose a location that is visible from the house.
  3. Clear the area of rocks, exposed tree roots and low hanging branches.
  4. Make sure there is nothing within 10 feet of the structure — such as trees, fences or other objects.
  5. Create a loose fill of mulch, shredded rubber or gravel at least six to eight inches deep under the structure. The border of the soft material should extend out twice as far as the height of the cross beam for the swings. If the cross beam is seven feet high, the mulch should extend 14 feet from the swings.
  6. All hardware should be recessed or flush with the structure.
  7. Swings should have at least 22 inches between them to prevent collisions.
  8. Avoid a set that has swings and other apparatuses hanging from monkey bars. It's inevitable that a child will fall off the monkey bars, and landing on a swing or trapeze bar could cause injury.
  9. Establish safety rules with children — such as "No Pushing," "Take Turns" and "Don't Run Behind Swings."
  10. Always supervise children on a play structure.
A backyard play structure is a great place for children to be active and burn some energy, but these structures also have some inherent safety concerns. Parents can't prevent all injuries, but following these tips will reduce the chances of their children getting seriously hurt while playing on a backyard playground.

Stay safe this summer. Call Sweet & Baker Insurance Brokers at (415) 512-2100 for more information on San Francisco home insurance.
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