Make sure play time is safe time for kids

Published 3:57 pm Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer is playground fun time for youngsters of all ages. Play yards abound in North Shelby, and my favorite is at Veterans Park on Valleydale.

Heardmont Park has a nice one on U.S. 119, too. Many apartment homes offer playgrounds. Most homeowners with children buy backyard play sets.

Like many great things in life, there’s a bit of danger amidst frollicking good times on swing sets, slides and ladders.

All play equipment isn’t created equal. Savvy parents do their research.

If you are a parent looking for safe and durable play equipment, Backyard Adventures on U.S. 280 in Brook Highland offers more than excitement.

Their redwood and cedar play sets are touted as being “built for maximum security, durability and fun,” according to their website at

They offer dozens of unique play systems which grow with your child, including swing sets, trapeze bars, rock walls, picnic tables, sun decks, crawl tubes, slides and more.

Please note a new location for Backyard Adventures, still on Meadowlark Drive, but now on the right.

Driving northwest, turn right off U.S. 280 between Lowes and Lloyd’s Restaurant, drive about a block. You’ll find them on the right next to the side entrance to Walmart. You may contact them at 408-4386.

Now, go out and enjoy the sunshine with your little ones, but avoid trips to the doctor.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission publishes playground guidelines, approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which include the following:

-Climbing equipment and swings with shock absorbing material covering ground

-Ropes or chains anchored at both ends

-All climbers/swings securely anchored to ground

-No protruding bolts, screws, objects; no splinters or rusting parts

-Play always supervised by an adult

-Immediately repair or remove broken parts

-Movable toys are at least six feet from stationary play equipment

-Securely fence enclose and gate play area

-Maintain cleanliness, free of animal waste and trash

-Correct any tripping hazards

-Remove standing water

-Ensure there are no harmful/poisonous plants in area: berries, thorns, mushrooms

-Avoid use during extremes in temperature

-Have drinking water, sunscreen, first aid kit handy