Turning your backyard into a safe and exciting playground for your little ones is a great way to give your kids plenty of outdoor play opportunities without having to go out to a public facility with them every day. Successfully building a safe play environment, however, isn’t enough. You’ll need to keep a close eye on all of your play equipment, and perform proper regular maintenance to make sure that everything remains safe to use.
Here are a few important maintenance tips for some of the most common play equipment you’re likely to be working with.
Before letting your kids use the tree house for the first time every spring, perform a careful inspection of both the tree and the structure. The constant freezing and thawing of late autumn and early spring will likely cause the most damage, meaning that significant changes could have occurred since the treehouse was last used. Look to ensure that no load-bearing beams or branches have been damaged over the winter, and check the tree for any signs of disease or pests. Check any form of ladder or other access to ensure ropes or wood components are in good shape, and then go up into the tree house yourself. Look for any peeling paint, signs of rot, loose boards, or other hazards, and make any needed repairs.
At much more frequent intervals, you should simply go outside and walk around the structure, looking for any signs of damage or fallen debris.
fabric or web swings might not seem like the sort of thing that requires regular maintenance, but there are a few important things to watch out for. Check to ensure that the branch that the tree swing is mounted on is in good health, and that there is no rot or damage surrounding the attachment points. Then check bolts and screws for any corrosion, and ensure that the sitting surface is in good condition. Lastly the ropes should be replaced every few years, because UV-light will damage even nylon over time, causing it to weaken and eventually break.
Always ensure that sandboxes are covered when they’re not in use. Falling leaves and debris, rain, and creepy crawly creatures do as nature does, and will eventually turn your sand into dirt. By keeping it covered you can much more easily keep it under control. However, that’s not the end of it. You’ll need to rake through and clean out the sandbox regularly to ensure that no broken toys, sharp rocks, or other unwelcome objects have found their way in.
Unlike other play equipment, trampolines naturally have to absorb a lot of physical impact While they’re designed for this, it can result in sudden and unexpected accidents if you aren’t properly maintaining it. Check to ensure that all the springs holding the trampoline’s impact surface are in good condition, and that the surface itself doesn’t have any holes, and isn’t fraying anywhere. Also make sure that the spring cover is properly attached, and that fasteners are in good condition before every use.
Doing a little bit of regular maintenance will go a very long way in keeping your little ones safe, and giving you peace of mind when they play in your backyard.