Monday, October 19, 2009

Playhouse Safety Check List

Whether you are building a playhouse yourself or purchasing one, it is ultimately your responsibility to ensure that it is a safe place for your children to play. Inspect you playhouse after completion and periodically for safety hazards. Always remember, "If they can, they will." A playhouse is a place to play and explore, and your children will do just that. If they can climb it, they will. If they can jump off of it, they will. If they can swing on it, they will. You get the picture.

SAFETY CHECK LIST

1. Safety starts with selecting an appropriate place for the playhouse. If you have young children, you may want it to be easily viewed from the house.
2. Select materials carefully. If you use reclaimed wood, make sure that it is free of lead paint.
3. Metal should not be used on roofs that are less than 7’-0” above the ground.
4. Windows should only be made with plexi glass or safety glass. If you are using a reclaimed window replace the old glass.
5. Special consideration should be taken when selecting a door knob. It should be easy enough for a child to operate. It is also important that the child does not get trapped inside the playhouse.
6. A 4” ball should not be able to pass through any rail. You don’t want your child to get his head stuck or fall through the rail.
7. Remove any protruding objects, such as nails.
8. Check for splinters.
9. Make sure that moving parts will not pinch a child.
10. Do not use looped ropes or any other objects that could cause strangulation.
11. If you have a play structure with swings, slides, or climbing walls make sure the ground beneath is covered with the appropriate material.
12. Periodically check for wasp nest and spiders.
13. If designed properly you should not find mold, but it is a good idea to check occasionally, especially if the playhouse has not been used in a while.
14. Smaller toddler sized playhouses should be stable enough that they won’t turn over.

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