Handyman Help: Building a Safe Backyard Playground

Few things can light up a child’s eyes like an amazing backyard playground. Across the country, dads turn on their inner handyman and start building these elaborate contraptions so the kids will have something to do besides play video games inside. Of course, getting exercise and being outdoors is good for any kid, but these backyard playground can come with hidden dangers. In order to sidestep these dangers, follow some simple rules when it comes time to build.

Find an area in the backyard that is suitable for such a playground. Don’t just choose an area arbitrarily. A good handyman will survey the land for the best possible location. Consider the amount of shade provided by nearby trees. Consider where in the backyard the best drainage will occur. While surveying the land and seeing how much space you have to work with, keep in mind what your kids like to do. Ask them what qualities they would like to see in the play set. Take them to a public playground and watch them play around. You may get some ideas on what you would like to incorporate.

Keep in mind that you’re designing the indoor playground equipment for your kids, not for yourself. Adults have a tendency to see big plans and very elaborate setups when it comes to designing a play area. Kids generally don’t need anything complicated and tall things can make the playground more dangerous than it needs to be. Research has shown that any equipment over six feet tall can drastically increase the possibility of getting injured. You want your kids to have fun, but you want to also make things as safe as possible.

One thing that many parents underestimate or neglect is the importance of having a good surface underneath the equipment. Substances like sand or ground rubber should be installed to make sure that a fall from the play set will not necessarily result in an injury. Falls are the number one cause of injury on a playground so you’ll want to do everything you can to cushion the inevitable blow.

While doing good handyman work and building a safe playground is half the battle, the concern for your children’s safety should not end there. Kids should be supervised at all times when playing on the equipment, especially if they’re friends are playing on it with them. Enforce safe rules, as no parent wants to drive their kids to the emergency room because of a lack of safe practices.

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