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How To Child Proof Your Swing Set

A young boy and girl playing outside on a colorful plastic jungle gym placed in front of a house with hedges.

More Than 200,000 Children Are Injured On Playground Equipment Every Year

70% of accidents are  from falls.  An ounce of prevention can make a big difference between a little bump and a serious injury.

Choose The Right Landing Surface

What’s beneath your swing set matters. Grass and packed dirt are too hard to guard against serious head injuries. Use a soft, shock-absorbent material like wood chips, mulch, sand, pea gravel, or rubber matting.

Cushion It Right

The higher the equipment, the deeper your landing surface should be (at least 12″ deep). Extend the circumference out at least six feet beyond the play set so kids are protected in every direction.

Maintain Your Play Equipment

Invest in high-quality equipment that will hold up over time, anchor it to the ground, and inspect it regularly. Maintenance includes fixing protruding nails and bolts, smoothing out splintered surfaces, and keeping “S” hooks fully closed.

Make Sure Your Slide Measures Up

Edges should be rounded, not sharp. Some experts recommend that slides be no steeper than a 50 degree incline, and that the bottom be elevated 7 to 15 inches off the ground. Slides should deposit kids into an open, unobstructed area. (Teach kids not to linger in front of the slide and to never slide down headfirst.)

Treat Rope Swings with Care

Rope swings are fun, but require extra vigilance. Always supervise your child closely and secure ropes out of reach once playtime is over. (And don’t let kids wear drawstring sweatshirts or necklaces when they’re on play equipment. They’re a strangulation hazard.)

Get the Right Size Play Set

Resist the urge to buy a play set your child can “grow into.” Injuries occur more frequently when kids use equipment designed for bigger, older children. Falls from heights of five feet or higher are more likely to result in serious injuries.


Finally, always supervise your child when playing. The National Safe Kids Campaign maintains that 40 percent of accidents could be avoided simply if parents were more vigilant.

Additional Outdoor Safety Resources

National Program for Playground Safety

Safe Kids Worldwide

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

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Comments (1)


Great article! These points are so vital to keeping our kids safe. Thanks for writing an article in order to give more exposure on the matter.

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