Issues to consider when buying a swing
According to Debra Holtzman, J.D., M.S., a child safety expert and author of the book "Safe Baby," you want to buy swings that are appropriate for your child's current age and weight." Holtzman says, "Don't expect your child to grow up and buy the equipment." If a child is too young for the equipment, they won't be able to use it safely. Many injuries to young children occur when they are playing on equipment designed for larger children." She recommends designing a full bucket swing, such as this one, for young children who can sit up straight on their own. "It's best to check with your pediatrician to see when your child is ready [to use a bucket swing]," she said.
Holtzman said it's important when choosing a swing brand to make sure the equipment you buy meets the standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials." She said, "Toddler swings should consist of soft materials such as canvas, rubber or plastic, and there should be no more than two swing seats hanging in one area.
Issues to consider when installing a swing set
Once you find the swing that suits your child's needs, the next step is to find the right location to install it. According to Holtzman, you'll want to plan your location carefully so that it's far enough away from hazards. "Find a spot in your yard that is at least 6 feet from the wall and at least 7 feet from the power lines - the power lines should not go over the playground," she says." Prepare the area so that it is close to level, but will drain. Each unit should be at least 12 feet away from other structures." She stresses the importance of following the manufacturer's installation instructions and checking your swing set regularly for signs of wear and tear, such as dangerous splits or cracks in the equipment.
Overall Best. Swing-N-Slide Ranger Wooden Swing Frame
Overall Best. Swing-N-Slide Ranger Wooden Swing Set
This cedar swing features a simple wooden frame that can be easily assembled by one or two people. Many shoppers said they were impressed with the quality of the materials, and the swing set comes with ground anchors. This outdoor play set has two swings and a trapeze, and each piece of equipment can support up to 115 pounds. You can adjust the chains on the swings to create a comfortable height for your little ones to jump on and off. A great option for families with children of all ages, this swing set allows you to simply swap out a regular swing set for a bucket style swing set to make it suitable for young children.
Best Wood: Backyard Discovery Oakmont Swing Set
With a lower clubhouse and a covered patio, this swing set provides the perfect setting for imaginative play. It also has two swings, a trapeze, a ladder and a slide that can be used when the kids are not playing by the snack window. Thanks to its cedar construction, this swing set can withstand the mold and rot that comes with inclement weather." One happy shopper wrote, "I've had it up there for four years and it's as sturdy as the day I built it. As a bonus, you can follow the installation instructions on a free 3D interactive app.
Best Metal: Sportspower My First Metal Swing Set
What makes this metal swing set better than other similar products? It has soft foam padding on each leg for added safety. Recommended for children ages 3 to 8, this heavy-duty swing set can support children weighing up to 100 pounds. It includes two swings, a trapeze and a slide, and parents say it allows multiple children to play at the same time. One reviewer said the swing set "holds up well with four busy kids playing on it every day," while another said her youngest child actually "lives on the slide."
Best Budget. MaxKare Metal Single Swing Frame
At just $80, this single swing set is an affordable option that works well for small families and backyards. It comes with a U-shaped swing seat, but you can use a bucket swing (not included) until your child is ready to upgrade to a swing set for older children. The swing set provides the tools you need, including four twist anchors to make sure it is secured to the ground. Remember, it can only support one child at a time, and the weight limit is 100 pounds.
Best for older kids: XDP Entertainment's Free N' Swing Set
Looking for a swing set for older children? This option caters to older children and can support up to 100 pounds per piece of play equipment. This swing set includes three different types of swings, a see-saw and a slide. We can almost guarantee that the disc swing will be everyone's favorite, with its soft cushions and seating space for two. What's more, the legs of this swing set are made of foam.