Safety Concerns For Your Youngster's Backyard Play Sets

By Todd Alan

Many of us have fond memories of playing on backyard play sets and would like our youngsters to have the same pleasant recollections. However, before you erect one, you will want to carefully consider the following safety hazards that will occur with wooden play sets.

Hazardous Chemical Treatments

Some interior lumber is treated with poisonous chemicals to deter woodlice infestation or to repel water. Improperly sealed, these agents can come off on your child's skin or clothing. When choosing a play set, select a manufacturer that uses pressure-treated wood. The finish should be smooth and the lumber shouldn't give off a foul odour. If you have any doubts, don't be afraid to call the retailer and ask what chemicals are used to treat their wood. If you're still apprehensive, you can always go over the play set once more with an inert varnish. This will seal in any chemicals and negate any unpleasant smells emanating from the lumber.

Splintery Wood

While a satin finish isn't necessary, you do wish to make sure that the wood is free of large splinters that could puncture your child's skin. Be especially diligent concerning the areas around bolts or screws and the hand-grips your youngster will use to climb. Any surface your youngster may get tempted to slide down should additionally be carefully inspected. Splinters are unpleasant to dig out of the skin and can become infected, so prevention now can help to save you a large amount of frustration later.

Inadequate Padding

When you hire a company to install a rear yard play set, settling it on grass is usually a bad idea. The area beneath the set can pack down over months of use, making a hard surface. This can mean a broken ankle if your child jumps down from too high up or stumbles. There are softer surfaces made for just this purpose. Some of them use shredded car tires, while others use a type of foam that can resist the elements. Families that live in farm country could also use hay or straw, but it will need to be raked and replaced throughout the year for it to be effective.

While you shouldn't let safety concerns deter you from getting a play set for your youngsters, considering and addressing them will keep your children safe and put your mind at ease. Remember that your children should always be supervised when they are outside playing!

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