Swing Set Safety
Swing sets and backyard play sets are a wonderful way for children to get some exercise, develop gross motor skills, spend some time outdoors, and burn off energy. But they need to be set up properly and used according to the directions, otherwise accidents can and do occur.
Possible injuries caused by swing sets include cuts, bruises, pinches, sprains and strains, broken bones, head injuries like concussions, and even death. Accidental falls and strangulation are the most likely causes of injuries, but all injuries are easily preventable by supervising your child to ensure mindfulness and caution when playing.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) estimates that there were 46,860 reported cases of injuries to children under the age of 18 caused by at-home swings and swing sets that were treated at hospitals in the United States in 2014. The CPSC estimates that about 15 children die each year due to playground equipment-related accidents.
The number of actual injuries caused by swing sets is likely to be quite higher than this, as the data from the CPSC reporting system only looked at those injuries that resulted in medical treatment at 100 participating hospitals. Minor injuries, which were likely treated at home or at another medical treatment facility, were not included in the reporting data.
When it comes to swing sets and backyard play sets, parents should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use, including proper staking and maximum weight and child limits. Proper installation and close adult supervision is essential for preventing injuries. The CPSC offers an online resource with tips for safe outdoor play equipment use at home.
Whenever possible, look for certification by a safety authority such as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), and be sure to inspect your swing set regularly and maintain appropriately.
In no particular order, here are the top 50 swing sets that we consider to be the safest, based on available features and average customer reviews and ratings.