Outdoor Playhouse Safety (Kids enjoy outdoor fun while being safe)
In every purchase of toys for children, safety above anything is what matters. This holds true especially in choosing the right outdoor playhouse.
Those happy moments that will be spent there should be safe as well. The children will be spending hours of play time in the outdoor playhouse. Ensuring their safety should be a primary concern.
The outdoor playhouse safeness should be the number 1 priority indeed.
Here are precautionary measures to consider and must be checked.
- Location – Aside from having enough space, there are other things that need to be taken into consideration.
Is the distance of the outdoor playhouse within your eyesight? Can it be seen from the house? This will enable the monitoring of the kids while at play.
Check if the place is not direct to the sunlight. The children will be exposed to too much sunlight and it can be harmful. Plastic playhouses tend to be brittle from too much sunlight or coldness. Likewise, the wooden playhouse can have an adverse reaction to too much sun such as discoloration and chipped paints. As for the winter, it might warp or expand.
If you decided to repaint the playhouses, be guided to use water based paint for a
wooden one, and for a plastic one a special kind of spray available in any DYI store nearby.
For extreme weather conditions, storage or covering them safely is advisable.
See if the area you plan to put the outdoor playhouse has enough shade. This will lessen their being exposed to UV radiation.
Make sure it is safe from foreign objects like bugs, insects, spiders, and red fire ants. If the place is prone to them, make a regular check on it.
- Materials – This is a very important aspect to have a first-hand checking. The quality of the plastic and the wood should be of high quality. The solidity and hardness of the plastic should be good. As for the wood, cedar, pine and redwood would be your best bets.
- Sturdiness – The outdoor playhouse should withstand and support the weight of the children. It should be strong and stable. The total weight that it can hold should be checked. This will avoid accidents.
- Abide the age and capacity limit – The age and capacity limit is in the manual and product description. Nothing will be risky if they are followed.
If you’re getting a playhouse above your child’s age bracket for longer usage, be sure to be there all the time.
Overcapacity is never advisable because it can cause problems and injuries.
- Age appropriate facilities – Don’t compromise in this area. There are swings and slides for all age brackets. The other facilities also have appropriate ages for them. Make sure the facilities or equipment are suitable for their ages.
- Regular random checking – After purchasing the outdoor playhouse, do random checking regularly on the following:
1. Floors – Select a non-slip flooring. This will lessen the risk of slips, falling, and injuries. Change of weather can produce moisture and during the rainy season as well. Make sure all areas are free from water, oil, or any liquid substance. Most outdoor playhouse with floor is available in the market today.
Some playhouses don’t come with floors. It would be great if floors can be added. Putting a mounting should be great. The grass or pavement should be even and flat.
This is an example of a wood playhouse with floor. You can buy this inclusive of a floor kit.
2. Nails, Nuts, and Bolts - Are there any nails protruding? Are they rusty? Are the nuts and bolts still tight? It can be securely adjusted if needed.
3. Spaces and Gaps – Another thing that needs to be checked. These spaces and gaps might be hurtful to the kids. They can stick out any of their body parts and get hurt.
4. Windows – Choose a window that isn’t glass. Acrylic windows are safer. Check for damaged or shattered windows. Children might hurt themselves if the windows are broken.
5. Surfaces – Check the playhouse for sharp corners. Make necessary steps to cover them if it’s plastic or to sand it and repair it if it’s wooden. See if there are splinters for the wood outdoor playhouse.
6. Amenities – Test the swing, slides, monkey bars, rock wall, ropes, and everything for damages or irregularities.
7. Doors – The doors should be safe and protected to avoid pinching of the fingers.
- Water Resistant – This will guarantee the longevity of an outdoor playhouse. It is a must to see if what you are buying is waterproofed. It is expected to really last and it will be far from mold, mildew, peeling of paint, slippery surfaces, moisture, and rustiness.
- Add rubber mats or soft cushions - A very good add-on would be rubber mats or floor Soft cushions for safer landing purposes. This would also make the areas around the playhouse protected.
One of the safest kind is the interlocking foam floor tiles. It’s absolutely safe and is softer. Take a look at some examples of interlocking rubber and interlocking foam floor tiles. Compare and choose the best for your kids’ outdoor playhouse mat.
There are also a lot of substitutes if you decided on not to buy any rubber mats. You can use the following such as sand, shredded rubber, mulch, and wood chips.
- Educate the children – Parents should teach their kids that having fun and enjoyment in playing should not include pushing another kid, shoving someone, or crowding in one place. These practices can be dangerous.
- Dress your child appropriately - Clothes with drawstrings can post some problems. They might get caught in the facilities of the playhouse. The kid might even be trapped.
- Avoid putting the playhouse on non-impact surfaces - These surfaces are not suitable for an outdoor playhouse. They are namely concrete, gravel surface, asphalt, and hard pavements.
Let’s take a closer look at the frequently asked questions about the safeness of an outdoor playhouse.
Is it safe to use a hammer and nails in an outdoor playhouse?
In the olden days, hammer and nails were widely used; unlike today there are a lot of options to choose from.
For a safer assembly of plastic playhouses, it’s advisable to use an electric screwdriver, drill gun and screws. This is for smooth, less impact assembly. The product should come with proper screws and accessories.
Some plastic playhouses come with their make believe tools such as a fake hammer and fake nails. They are safe but be sure to watch out for your kid so they don’t swallow any small parts.
For wooden outdoor playhouses, it is also advisable to use an electric screwdriver, drill gun, and screws for assembling it. They also come with the proper screws and accessories. The best is the stainless screw that doesn’t rust or the coated screws. Check the screws in the package. You can use stainless screws but make sure it’s of the same size.
Is a plastic playhouse better because it weigh less?
It is both a yes and a no. Plastic outdoor playhouses are safer for toddlers till 3 years old. Children can play rough and tough and it needs to be secured well.
On the other hand, a wood outdoor playhouse is better for kids 5 years old and above even if it’s heavier and bulkier. It can hold more weight and it has more space to it.
Is there outdoor playhouse made from resin that is for sale?
Being mentioned that resin is safe, it’s now used to make a kids outdoor plastic playhouse. Polypropylene, a popular synthetic resin is one of the rather versatile polymers out there. It serves double duty, both as a plastic and as a fiber. As a plastic, it can be safely used to make playhouses and toys.
Here is an outdoor resin playhouse that is very safe and durable at the same time.
What precautions are needed to ensure safety while playing in an outdoor playhouse?
We can never be sure of a product sometimes unless we buy or try it. But somehow we can prevent it and avoid all the hassles. Here are what you need to look into:
- What is it made of?
- Better to buy or build one?
Design - Look for an appropriately designed outdoor playhouse according to your child’s/ children ages. If you have younger kids, avoid choosing a two-story outdoor playhouse. A ladder or a net climbing wall is not advisable for 1- year- old- 3 years old. Climbing might cause them to fall or to be prone to injuries. It is very much encouraged and recommended to be always at bay for toddlers and younger kids. This will ensure they don’t fall or swallow anything. Avoid buying small pieces of things and accessories. Younger kids can chew them off or swallow them. There might be some serious safety issues with them. Batteries should be avoided for toddlers and kids up to 3 years old.
For older kids, choose a ladder that has the recommended wood width for steps and the space between steps.
What is it made of? There should always be a conscious effort to check on the materials. As mentioned above choose highly recommended materials. There are some more guidelines such as the following:
1. There are some safety issues in using resin as a material. Resin is fine as long as it’s cured resin. This is non- toxic and safe.
2. Plastic outdoor playhouses are safer more toddlers. It has no sharp corners or sides.
3. Make sure all materials are non- toxic inclusive of the toys and accessories.
4. Follow strictly the material weight tolerance.
5. Maintenance and checking of all materials of the playhouse once a month to sustain durability.
To buy or to build? Both options are good although professionally and commercially produced ones are better. It saves time, energy, and unforeseen challenges along the way.
If you want it built, consult someone who can help you, have it constructed professionally. If you decide to do it, make sure you are good knowing how to do it.
What does build to safety playhouse means?
This simply implies that all the necessary aspects for safety were taken into consideration. They were scrutinized very closely. Here are the following areas:
- Design and Structure
- Proper Surface
- Equipment Inspection
Design and Structure - Topping the list to make a long lasting playhouse. A great design that has a good structure is the first thing that the manufacturers put into their planning boards. It has to have an appealing design that will function well and at the same time built very well with enticing features.
Proper Surface – The plastic outdoor playhouse usually don’t have a flooring. Substitute flooring could be thick rubber mats. A study showed that a high percentage of injuries are caused from falling or slipping accidents. If you opt for no flooring, keep the grass even and kept and trimmed regularly.
Good flooring gives a very stable and level elevation. For a wood outdoor playhouse, flooring materials should be made of: marine plywood, planks made from cedar, redwood, and pine. It can be thickly coated of wood stain. Should it be soft or hard flooring? The best is in between not too soft and not too hard. This will make the impact softer just in case of falling or slipping occurs.
Spacing – All features, structures, and amenities should have the proper spacing. The space between them should be studied and calculated properly to avoid accidents.
Equipment Inspection – All equipment is carefully selected and all materials should be tested. It should pass all standards and specifications for safety.
Quality - Never sacrifice quality. The totality of the playhouse should pass all guidelines and quality standards.
What is the best roof waterproofing?
Some outdoor playhouses have waterproofing in them. There are DIY roof waterproofing solutions available. Here are some of them: acrylic liquid waterproofing and clear waterproofing sealer.
This will be of great help for the preservation of an outdoor playhouse. It will protect the playhouse from rain and even snow.
Is there a plastic playhouse with a floor in the market?
Some plastic outdoor playhouses don’t have floorings in them. There are parents who prefer to purchase one with a flooring. This feature comes with a Step2 Neat and Tidy II Playhouse.
This playhouse also comes with built-in floor with drain holes that makes it just right for indoor or outdoor use.
What kind of surface should I put around and under my kid’s outdoor playhouse to make it safe?
Remember, whether if it’s a plastic outdoor playhouse or a wooden outdoor playhouse, a safe surface around and under it is very important. Here are the safest and most commonly used materials for safe ground covering.
- A well-kept and even grass.
- Sand or pea gravel - One option that is cheap.
- Mulch or chips - One of the most popular one is shredded redwood mulch. This one is another cheap option.
- Shredded rubber - This option can more than just the mulch and chips.
- Rubber or foam mats - The prices for these can be of mid range.
- Poured-in place rubber - This is the most expensive option and yet the most unnatural looking.
The most important thing is never to place any outdoor playhouse on a concrete or asphalt surface. This is definitely a no-no and it’s far from being safe at all!
What outdoor playhouse with two story is safe and reasonably priced that I can purchase?
This Little Squirt is an outdoor playhouse made from cedar wood. It’s two story and is considered a cheap wooden playhouse for its features. There are a lot of outdoor wood playhouse but can cost more and can be more complex to assemble. This outdoor playhouse has amenities like a sandbox, sunlight, flowerboxes. You can purchase it with or without the slide. It’s super sturdy and one of the best playhouse around.
Thinking of the kids’ safety, the ladder is angled for small children so it’s not a straight drop off and slanted a bit like stairs.
What other ways can I be sure that outdoor playhouse I am purchasing is safe?
Have the conscious effort to research and read reviews. Another thing is never be hesitant to ask questions. The best source would be outdoor playhouse reviews and outdoor playhouse faqs.
Let’s do another rundown of vital things to remember in buying your child an outdoor playhouse that is safe:
- Check all the corners for safety and to avoid injury.
- Make sure the windows are safe and is not made of real glass.
- Use only paints that are water-based. This is non-toxic and suitable for children
- See if the doors are designed to protect and fingers won’t be caught by it.
- Choose only flooring that is non-slip.
- The best matting is a rubber or foam that is softer and anti-static.
- The doors should always open outwards to avoid them getting hit or knocked down.
- Pick the outdoor playhouse with styles that is suited and age-appropriate for your kid.
This is quite a tall order when safety comes into full consideration. Safety can never be sacrificed at all cost. By covering almost all points of safety, the welfare of the children will always be in check.
The parents will never have qualms while their children are playing in an outdoor playhouse because they know their safety is pretty much covered!
The full potential of what an outdoor playhouse can do to the children can be utilized in a most positive and enjoyable way.