For children, there may be nothing more exciting in the backyard than having fun and safe playground equipment. Some of my fondest childhood memories revolve around the swing set in my back yard as well as the toys I played on at school on the playground. This playground equipment isn’t always safe, however. I also remember a classmate in second grade falling from a jungle gym and breaking his leg because he didn’t listen to the teachers. Good playground equipment is great, but it must be used safely. When it comes to swing sets, never buy cheap models.
You are just asking for trouble. When you buy playground equipment of any type, you want to pay more to make sure the units are sturdy and safe. Swing sets and other pieces of playground equipment need to be anchored down, and if the model you get doesn’t allow for this, you are asking for someone to get hurt. There are many types from which to choose, but for safety reasons, you may want to go with a good solid wood set, rather than aluminum. Some aluminum models may work well, and might be safe, but make sure before you buy.
Safety for playground equipment not only means buying quality items, it also means teaching your children when and how to play. The little boy in my class broke his leg, not because the equipment was faulty, but because he didn’t listen. We were forbidden from climbing on any of the playground equipment in the early morning hours because they were always covered with morning dew. This dew left the equipment wet and slippery. He ignored this rule, climbed the jungle gym, and then had to walk around on crutches for six weeks afterwards. After that, he was sure to follow the rules quite closely. It was a good lesson for the rest of us as well. Teach your children that wet playground equipment is not to be used, and make sure they know how to use each piece safely. Allow them to do age appropriate activities, and don’t allow younger children to play without direct adult supervision. Children don’t understand the limits of their own bodies, and may end up hurt because they aren’t aware of what is safe and what is not.
The same goes for playground equipment at school. Remind them to listen to their teachers, and to play safely. A jungle gym is no place for pushing and shoving. .