First Kid's White House Playset Sets the Stage fpr Backyards Everwhere This Summer
PITTSBURG, KS - March 17, 2009 - It's been almost 50 years since Caroline Kennedy played with her pony, Macaroni, on the White House grounds; more than 25 years since Amy Carter played in her tree house in President's Park. For years, first children have enjoyed the White House backyard and this summer, Sasha and Malia Obama will enjoy their very own playset on the south grounds of the current Obama family residence.
As goes the White House, so goes the rest of the country. Since parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles are starting to search for the perfect playsets for the 'first children' in their lives, Backyard Leisure™, LLC, the largest playset manufacturer in the United States and one of the world's leading producers of wooden residential outdoor playsets, has created 'PLAY SAFELY,' 10 easy-to-follow guidelines for parents to remember as they shop for playsets this spring. 'PLAY SAFELY' aims to educate consumers on playset materials, outdoor placement and warranties, as well alert consumers about how to prevent injuries related to playset assembly and maintenance.
"Whether purchasing a $299 playset or a $3,000 playset, consumers are looking for safe playtime solutions and the most bang for their buck, especially considering the economic climate," said Tom Prichard, president, Backyard Leisure. "Parents and grandparents don't necessarily know how to shop for a playset or how to safely customize a set to suit their family's needs. 'PLAY SAFELY' is a guide for shoppers to reference as they research playsets for their backyard."
"Every Backyard Leisure playset is built upon a safety-first philosophy and each durable and long-lasting playset provides hours of fun and healthy exercise for kids," continued Prichard. "No matter how parents are looking to customize their playset - like the Obama's with a buoy ball, tire swing and ship's wheel - or with playtime accessories more appropriate for their family - an infant swing, hammock, rope bridge or rock wall - Backyard Leisure seeks to educate parents nationwide about what it takes to successfully create a safe and fun environment for the entire family.
"Backyard Leisure's 'PLAY SAFELY' outlines 10 points parents should consider when shopping for outdoor playsets, including:
Parents should determine where they will place a playset in their yard before making a purchase. There should be at least a six-foot perimeter - a "Safe-T Zone" - surrounding a child's playset to prevent children from swinging, jumping or falling into or onto something dangerous. Loose fill materials like mulch, wood chips or reground plastic should be placed under the playset to minimize any falls. Children should always be supervised when playing on a playset which is why the structure should be placed where parents can constantly monitor children's activities.
Shoppers should look for a naturally decay and weather resistant lumber like cedar when purchasing a playset. Cedar is also a natural insect repellant and blends well with any backyard. Look for playsets that have a water-based stain that is both environmentally safe and kid-friendly. Other materials on the market, like lumber that has been chemically treated, are not as family- or eco-friendly.
Playsets come packaged differently and it's important to consider assembly options before choosing a playset. Parents have to ask themselves a few questions - should the playset be hand-built? Will the lumber be hand-picked and the playset built with a kit? Or will the playset come 'Ready to Assemble'? The best and easiest-to-assemble units are labeled 'Ready to Assemble' which means they are pre-cut, pre-stained and pre-drilled with all of the hardware and accessories pre-packed.
Most playsets are built to last no matter their price tag. However, parents should determine what they're willing to spend before they head to their local playset dealer. On the market are large, full-featured playsets that retail for $2,000 and up, as well as very good quality cedar playsets that retail for as little as $399. A playset is something a family will cherish for years so before making a final decision, make sure the investment will pay off and the set will grow with your family.
Creating a safe, fun play environment means safety features must be put in place during assembly. Check that all elevated surfaces, such as platforms, have guardrails and that sit down bars are in place above the slides. Most quality sets will have an arched entrance area to protect little noggins but be sure to look for this feature before purchasing.
After installing a playset, make sure the entire structure is firmly anchored to avoid tipping. Many first-time playset buyers think that very large playsets anchor themselves. The truth is, if a playset is not properly anchored, multiple swinging children can create a dangerous situation that could have easily been avoided.
Customizing a playset for your family is the fun part. Parents should ask themselves questions like: Do we need an infant swing? Do we need a hammock? Or do we need a two person glider so we can push two children at once? Accessories like a buoy ball, rock wall, gang plank, hammock or ship's wheel create a fun play experience for all children. The beauty of most quality playsets is that accessories can be added following the initial playset purchase.
Playsets should provide children with a play area that is developmentally appropriate so consider the ages of the children who will be playing on the set. The size of the playset should depend on how many children will play on the set, as well. So consider how many swings and how many play features will be required to create a fun and safe play environment for all.
It is important to know exactly what type of warranty is being offered and what the playset company will cover. Is it a five year warranty or lifetime warranty? Will the warranty last if the playset is properly maintained? Playsets should last for the long haul, so a warranty with long-term protection is essential.
Preventative playset maintenance is a must for keeping kids safe and making sure a warranty lasts. Every season, parents should tighten any loose supports, anchors, bolts and screws and missing nuts, bolts and protective caps should be replaced. Following manufacturer's directions, playsets should be periodically sealed, stained and painted to prevent deterioration. Taking these small steps toward a safer play area can make a big difference when it comes to long-term safety.
Backyard Leisure distributes playsets under the following names: Create-N-Adventure™, Adventure Playsets™, Leisure Time Products™ and Backyard Adventure™. Backyard Leisure playsets are available at retailers around the United States including Wal-Mart, Lowe's, Sam's, Toy"R"Us, Menards, and BJs.
If you're interested in setting up an interview with a Backyard Leisure executive to discuss 'PLAY SAFELY,' trends in the playset industry, or how American families can make sure their playset is safe, please contact: Melissa Winston, Litzky Public Relations, 201.222.9118 ext. 16, firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Backyard Leisure, LLC
Backyard Leisure, LLC, based in Pittsburg, Kansas is a private equity owned family company that's kept family in mind since 1968. Backyard Leisure offers products that promote exercise, imagination, and plenty of family fun and leisure. One of the world’s leading producers of wooden residential outdoor play sets, Backyard Leisure manufactures cedar and redwood play sets and other backyard products under the following brand names: Create-N-Adventure™, Adventure Playsets™, Backyard Adventure™, Leisure Time Products™, Backyard Builders™ and Politron™. The Company also markets Backyard Botanical™ Complete Gardening Systems, ready-made vegetable gardens that allow the average consumer to produce fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs right in their own backyard.