Purchasing a swingset for your children is sure to bring years of enjoyment. However, with so many on the market to choose from, it can be a daunting task, not to mention, a considerable investment. A simple online search for “cheap swingsets” will get the job done, right?
Before getting ahead of yourself, keep in mind the phrase, “you get what you pay for,” which certainly holds true when purchasing a swingset. It doesn’t pay to cut corners when it comes to your children’s safety. To ensure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck, keep these considerations in mind when researching and purchasing a swingset.
Safety Is Your Priority, But Is It Theirs?
Sadly, more than 200,000 children end up in the ER each year because of playground injuries. The majority of these injuries occur when a child falls from the equipment to the ground. In order to prevent unnecessary falls, make sure that any platforms on your chosen swingset have a guardrail or protective barrier at the right height. Follow these parameters to be sure:
- Platforms between 30” and 48” high should have a guardrail of at least 25” high
- Platforms between 48” and 72” high should have a protective barrier of at least 27” high
- Platforms over 72” should have a protective barrier of at least 33” high
Additionally, it is very common for children’s limbs or heads to become entrapped between openings that are not properly spaced. Make sure openings are either too small to fit their head, legs or arms through, or wide enough that they can easily free themselves if need be.
Some swingset manufacturers cut corners to save money by ignoring safety guidelines, producing equipment that is unsafe, has improper sizing for children, or is not durable enough to withstand continuous play and various weather conditions. Weight limits should be clearly stated not only for the structure itself, but also for individual components such as swing seats, climbing ramps and walls, and slides.
Are They Using Materials That Last?
Quality materials and workmanship go hand-in-hand with swingsets that are built to last, which is why it’s important to pay close attention to the materials that are used to build your next swingset.
Materials that will rust or wear down easily are not worth your investment. Swingsets that are made of pressure-treated wood encased in a strong, durable vinyl coating allow for years of use and little to no maintenance.
A sturdy frame goes a long way
Be sure that the actual frame of the swingset is sturdy and solid enough to support the entire structure.
- Swing beams should be made of solid 4X6 inch beams to avoid breaking and snapping with repeated use
- The base of the swingset should be constructed of 4X4 beams for a strong foundation
What to avoid
- Smaller, less dense 2X6 beams that don’t support proper weight limits
- Beams that are glued together rather than using one solid piece of wood
- Beams that are not pre-drilled, as improper drilling can cause damage to the beam
The structure itself is important, but the hardware that is used to secure various components is crucial to the overall well-being of the swingset as well. Make sure the hardware that is included is not only the proper size for the structure but is also being used for the intended purpose to avoid damage to the swingset.
The Longer the Warranty, the Better the Quality of the Product
The warranty of the swingset should have a major impact on your decision to go through with the purchase. Don’t settle for a swingset that doesn’t offer one at all. Get the most out of your purchase by choosing a swingset with a good warranty.
A warranty is a way for a manufacturer to prove that their product will last. It serves to build trust between the customer and the business, giving the customer the opportunity to reach out if something is amiss with the product.
Some things to keep in mind when reviewing swingset warranties:
- Reputable manufacturers offer at least a 10-year warranty.
- Structural components generally have a longer warranty than additional components such as swings, slides, and accessories.
- Warranties should outline in detail what they do and do not cover so you are aware of the guidelines.