Children just love to seesaw. Why only children, adults too love to revisit their childhood by seesawing now and then. Thoughts of installing a seesaw in your garden immediately invite excitement and your children will go green with glee when you tell them about it.
However, there would also be some apprehension lurking in your mind …What if there is a mishap? How safe are seesaws and teeter totters for children? Here, we have compiled the necessary information on seesaws and teeter totters, including the types of products available in the market and safety elements.
Go ahead, make your choice. Seesaws are safe and fun.
What Is the difference between seesaws and teeter totters?
These terms are often used interchangeably, and rightly so. However, teeter totters are usually meant for smaller children of up to two years' age and they are single-seat playthings. Also, they are mostly used indoors. With that clarity, let us now check out the different types of seesaws and teeter totters.
What are the physical-mental developmental benefits of seesaws and titter totters?
Balance control and maintaining stability amidst bouncing and rocking activities are the main developmental benefits of these playthings. If these skills are strengthened during the formative years, children grow up to be physically and mentally balanced adults with these abilities:
- Firm, assertive and well-balanced stride
- Concentration power
- Better sports abilities, especially running, jumping, brisk-walking, and rope-walking.
- Better coordination and collaboration
- Enhanced reflexes
Which types of seesaws and teeter totters should you check out?
You will come across these popular types on websites and physical stores.
Swirling fun seesaw
This improvised seesaw design not only bounces up and down but also swirls 360°, so children can have much more fun riding this plaything. It has two seats mounted on the edges of a tough steel tube or wooden plank which is pivoted on a central base. The seats are made of bright colored-tough plastic with a firm handhold in front of them.
Swirling fun seesaws are meant for children of up to three years' age. You would find it ideal if you have a kid or two of that age, and a neighborhood full of pre-school and kindergarten kids. Since it can bear a load of up to 70 lbs. on each side, even healthier can have a joyful time on it.
Swirling fun seesaw is an outdoor product, ideal for personal or public gardens and backyards.
Dual Rocker Seesaw
As the name suggest, this is a two-seat seesaw full of fun and excitement. It is a versatile design that you can use either indoors or outdoors, and a wide age-group of children between two years and 6 can ride on it. The choice too is wide; here are the main types of designs:
Conventional multi-piece seesaw with two plastic seats resting on the two ends of a strong steel pipe. They have handholds in front of them. The structure rests on a central pivot.
Molded plastic, single piece with two seats. The design does not have a central pivot but rocks on the curvature of the base when two children ride it. Available in many bright, cheerful colors.
Tubular two-seat rocker. It functions in the same way as the above design. It can also have a wooden plank instead of a steel tube.
Glider seesaw suspended from a tree-branch of ceiling hook. Rather than resting on the ground, it is hanged from the two ends with strong ropes or cables. There is no separator between the two children so they can enjoy the glide sitting on a single seat.
Dual rocker seesaws are meant for two, so they are ideal if you have two bubbly kids.
This is meant for toddlers who have just learned to take their first steps. You can sit them on a central seat and then rock the toy on its curved base. The design is available in a very wide range of animals, birds, fruits, and other fun forms, in bright, eye-catching colors.
Seesaw for four
This design has an intersection of two steel pipes that rest on the central pivot, with a seat and handholds at their edges. It is a variant of the mainstream single-pipe design. It accommodates four instead of 2 children, so, more, the merrier!
Seesaw with planks
This rocking seesaw has two planks facing each other, on which two, four, or more children can rock. This seesaw is usually made with molded plastic technology.
What safety features of seesaws and teeter totters should you check?
In the US, about 200,000 children are treated in hospitals for playground-related injuries each year. Check for these safety essentials in seesaws and titter totters before buying one:
In the case of seesaws with steel tubes, check for the AWS D1.1 welding standard of the American welding Society.
In the case of plastic or molded plastic seesaws, ensure that the body is made from industrial plastics - ABS or Polypropylene (PP).
Check for product recalls before you buy.
Once it's installed in your backyard:
Inspect the unit periodically. Check for loose parts, rust, splinters or screws that may stick out and pose danger.
Don't let two children sit on a single seat
Don't let two children seat on one side and one on the other side - always maintain weight balance
Try to be around when children are playing on seesaws
Along with these safety measures, also teach your kids the following rules of safe seesawing:
Never apply too much strength to "win" over the other kid. Seesaw is not a contest; it is a collaboration play.
Never get off the seesaw abruptly in the middle of a session with a thud - this may cause internal knee or spine injury. It may also cause a bad fall and hurt the body, especially the skull.
Never stand up on the seesaw while it is in action
Always grip the handhold firmly
Seesaws are so much fun and excitement! Don't let that get out of control. Having bought a seesaw or teeter totter, teach your children to play safely on them.