Indoor swings are a great way to provide an alternative option for active play when the weather isn’t cooperating with your kids’ regular outdoor play schedule. While indoor swings generally work the same way as any outdoor swing, the safety issues that need to be emphasized indoors are different than what you may be used to paying attention to on your outdoor swing set.
Hanging the swing safely
While indoor swings are becoming much more popular over time, there are still relatively few ready kits available to purchase and safely install. Because of this, many parents build their own swings from scratch, or adapt an outdoor model for inside the house. This is completely fine, but may require some adjustments.
Unless you’re hanging your swing from an exposed beam, you’ll need to install eye screws into a ceiling joist (which you’ll need to find through your drywall with a stud finder). On these you can then mount the swing. Unlike a regular outdoor swing, you won’t be able to use an eye bolt that goes entirely through ceiling beam and is held securely by a washer and nut. As a result, the mounting will never be quite as secure as it would otherwise be.
Choosing and installing the right screw eye
To ensure that the screw holds securely, it’s important to use one with at least a ½ inch diameter. This helps to distribute the stresses over a wider area, and to prevent damage to the wood. Additionally a thinner screw itself may not be able to adequately support the weight of a swinging person.
Even properly installed eye screws may not hold permanently and loosen under the stresses of being constantly tugged back and forth as the swing is used. This depends on the type of wood the beam is made of, the type of swing, and how actively it’s being used. Because of this, you should inspect the eye screws and ceiling for signs of wear or movement on a very regular basis.
Supervising and keeping enough space clear around the swing
Once your swing installed, it’s easy to simply forget about it and allow your kids to use it without any supervision. This is a bad idea; swings are not automatically safer just because they’re indoors. In fact, because of the limited amount of space, it’s even more likely that hazards like toys, debris, or furniture find their way into the direct vicinity of your swing. A child could be hurt if she falls off the swing, or swings directly into an obstacle. Parents should always do their best to supervise, and need to ensure that the swinging area is clear and safe to move around in when someone is using it.