A child swings on a swing before a sun at dusk

10 Swing Set Safety Tips

Updated September 23, 2020 . AmFam Team

Use these 10 swing set safety tips to keep your backyard safe for the kids to play.

For children, families and communities, perhaps no backyard recreational activity is as iconic as the backyard swing set. The exhilaration of flying through the air, zooming back and forth with your friends, is a sensation, and memory, few other outdoor activities can provide to a child. For this reason, we totally understand why kids often beg their parents for a backyard swing set.

If you’ve decided a swing set is for you and your family, it’s important to lay some ground rules. We’ll cover ten basic swing safety guidelines you should follow for a safe and fun experience for everyone.

1. Ensure Adult Supervision at All Times

This swing set safety rule may come as no surprise to many, but it’s important to remind families that adult supervision should always be enforced while children play on the swing. This also happens to be a great way to spend time with your kids, keep them safe and foster physical activity fun all at the same time!

2. Establish & Enforce Safety Rules for the Family

Setting swing set safety standards for the family will help keep everyone safe during play and your equipment in tip-top shape. Make a game of memorizing and reciting playground safety rules with your young ones so that safety is always top of mind when they hit the swings.

3. Set Up a Swing Set Fall Zone

Safety experts recommend setting up a swing set fall zone around your recreational structure of about six feet in each direction. Keeping this area free and clear of obstructions and hazards will ensure that children can use the equipment without the danger of banging into an object nearby. This six foot parameter should be clear of trees, fences, driveways and other recreational outdoor equipment.

4. Keep the play area clear

Ensure that the swinging area is free of wandering children eager to participate. No walking in front of, behind or alongside a moving person on a swing.

5. Avoid swinging empty seats

To keep accidents to a minimum, make sure that the swing participants aren’t throwing the seats wildly. Throwing an empty seat could result in it coming back at a person and causing a pretty nasty injury.

6. Only one person per swinging chair

Make sure that swinging kids aren’t doubling up on seats. In this case, not only are weight limits an issue, but so is safety. No sitting on laps or standing on the seat together! Too many possible injuries could come from more than one person on a swing at a time.

7. No jumping or ejecting while the swing is in motion

While it may seem like fun to a swinging child, it’s a sure way to sprain a wrist, an ankle or worse. Make sure no one ejects themselves from a swing in motion to avoid serious injuries.

8. Don’t twist swing chains

Twisting chains, or otherwise using the swing in an unintended fashion, could result in the chain or other parts weakening and eventually breaking.

9. Avoid clothing or artifacts that can get caught in or snagged by the swinging chains

Loose clothing could pose a risk to your swinging children if they get caught in chains or other surrounding objects. Make sure that you observe the play area for any potential hazards during play.

10. Make sure weight limits and manufacturer instructions are observed

Last — but not least, make sure swing participants are always playing with the manufacturer’s safety rules in mind. Weight limits and other suggestions should be closely followed at all times.

Additional Swing Set Safety Tips to Consider

Swinging can be a blast — if played by the rules. Make sure you’re considering many different swing set safety scenarios before you decide to install one in your yard. Swing safety first — then fun!

  • Make sure your swing is made of quality materials
  • Consider the placement of your swing set and create a safety barrier
  • Regularly maintain your swing set
  • Read safety guidelines included by the manufacturer
  • Purchase specialized seats for children under the age of three
  • Make sure your swings are about 20” apart

Make Sure Your Homeowners Insurance Covers Swing Sets

As with most outdoor recreational toys and structures, it’s a great idea to connect with your American Family agent (Opens in a new tab) to discuss whether your homeowners policy covers it. A little work now means a lot of stress-free fun for you and your family down the line.

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