Starting with the less obvious issues
- Don’t allow children play on swings and slides where the grass underneath has had weedkiller applied , the chemicals that poison the weeds will likely do the same to your children.
- Soil cushions falls, soil with grass cushions even better. So site swings and slides on grassed soil or consider EN 71 artificial safety grass mats and place them under high fall points such as climbing wall.
- Leave space between the play equipment and soft / hard garden features – and that includes thorny rose bushes - 1 - 2 meters approximately.
- Install the equipment with safety in mind. Obviously this means no short cuts in assembly but also and critically make sure the legs are steel bolt anchored into 4 concrete filled holes (18 inches diameter approx 24 inches deep). These concrete cylinders sit under the 4 extreme corners of the swing section under the soil level. Lastly ensure that that there is no visible concrete that a head could knock against. If there is cover the exposed concrete with padding.
- Associated with the above point is to ensure that the swing and slide set is not placed over a hard surface such tarmacadam, concrete or timber decking.
- Install it near your viewing window in the house, so that you can have a look at the child or children. Allowing you to react to falls or rough play.
- Never situate any garden play equipment under a tree with lower hanging branches. Children will reach for the branch, grab it, suspend from it and then fall from it. Honestly it’s a broken arm waiting to happen.
- Big children should never play on outdoor toys for small children, eg small plastic slide – heavily bumped heads are a likely outcome. Similarly small children should never play on outdoor toys for big children as per the above reason.
The Mimitoys recommendation depends on the age of your children. If all under 5 then firstly concentrate on a good outdoor climbing toy eg this Pirate Ship. These options are more social than pure swings and slides and don’t require an adult in constant attendance to push the swing.
If some children are over 5 then go for the full swing and slide, with as many features as your budget can stretch.
I particularly like the Suricate Wooden Play Centre, as you are getting a lot of features for the spend (€769.99 at time of writing incl delivery). Click here for details.
Conclusion. Swings & slides & children during summer sunny days are images that remain enshrined in the memory of parents. Pay a bit of attention to type of swing & slide, its quality and positioning and make sure those memories are not interrupted by trip(s) to the Accident & Emergency of your local hospital.