In NYC, summertime means freedom from hibernating in your tiny apartment with no playroom or basement and spending hour upon hour at the playground. Within a one mile radius of my building there are no less than six playgrounds–three of them complete with spray elements. Yeah, they’re small, but they’re close and fun and a nice place to drink your iced coffee. We go almost every day. So yesterday I shared the Underwriters Laboratories tips for Pool and Water Safety. Today, I’m going to pass along their tip sheet for Play Set Safety. Just worth reading over before you head out to your huge, shady, soft-surfaced, 75 awesome spout-spray park, non-city playground. Or the jungle gym in your own grassy backyard. No….I’m not jealous.
BEFORE INSTALLING A BACKYARD PLAY SET…
· Do a sandbox check. Before letting your child dig in, rake through the sand to check for debris or sharp objects. Also, inspect for any animal contamination or insect problems.
· Make sure your backyard is large enough for playground equipment. The site must also provide good visibility and security. Before setting up equipment, look out for obstacles, such as the garage, tree branches, utility poles and wires.
· Read and follow the manufacturer’s directions when setting up play set equipment. Be sure your child’s weight and age fall within the manufacturer’s recommended limits for the equipment.
· Install protective surfacing, such as rubber tiles or mulch under the play set, at least six feed in all directions, to prevent serious injuries should a child fall.
BEFORE HEADING OUT TO PLAY…
· Carefully inspect backyard playground equipment. Make sure equipment is anchored safely in the ground, all equipment pieces are in good working order, S-hooks are entirely closed and bolts are not protruding.
· Check for spaces that could trap children, such as openings in guardrails or between ladder rungs. These spaces should measure less than 3.5 inches or more than 9 inches.
· Always supervise children on play set equipment to make sure they are playing safely.
· Never attach ropes, jump ropes, clotheslines, pet leashes or cords of any kind to play set equipment. If used improperly, they can be potential strangulation hazards.
· Watch for potential trip hazards, such as rocks, tree stumps and concrete footings. Make sure you’re children are aware of them as well.
See you at the playground!
I wrote part two of this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Underwriters Laboratories. Mom Central sent me one gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.