Monkey bars can turn your garden into the ultimate playground area and give your kids something to go bananas over. They will help them overcome exciting challenges and develop their balance and motor skills.
However, if they don't meet relevant safety standards or are used incorrectly, monkey bars could also result in unpleasant falls and injuries.
Let's avoid you choosing the wrong model so that you can let your cheeky monkeys enjoy playtime without stressing out!
Once you know exactly what to look for, you can find a large variety of monkey bars here, in all sizes, colors and prices to suit all needs and budgets.
Make sure that your monkey bars follow playground regulations and meet safety standards
The best way to ensure monkey bars' safety is to refer to relevant safety standards and regulations. While they can change slightly depending on where you live, these are the most widely accepted rules:
For preschool-aged kids between four and six, monkey bars should be a maximum of five feet in height and there should be between nine inches and one foot between each bar. The reason why this gap really shouldn't go above twelve inches is to avoid head entrapments;
For older kids, monkey bars can be up to seven feet in height and a bit farther apart but not more than fifteen inches;
It's also important to point out that monkey bars aren't recommended for kids younger than four.
Give your kids enough room to swing around
While their height must always meet these strict requirements, you've got a lot more freedom when it comes to the length of your monkey bars.
However, when choosing where to place them in your garden, you should also leave at least four or five feet around them. That way, you won't have to worry about your kids hitting something with their legs while swinging around.
Prepare for potential accidents by softening the fall
Better safe than sorry! Even if your kids are becoming particularly skilled at swinging from one monkey bar to another, falls are inevitable sometimes. You just need to make sure that they won't hurt.
That's especially relevant when you choose the location for your monkey bars:
You should avoid hard solid surfaces like concrete and place them on softer patches of grass instead. Make sure this area is level or else the uneven poles could compromise your kids' balance;
If you haven't got a level grassy area (or you do but could do with some extra peace of mind), you can always add a safety mat underneath the monkey bars.
Check smaller details and features
If you see some exposed bolts, we recommend covering them with small pieces of rubber to prevent painful scratches or cuts;
Another way to avoid slips is to choose monkey bars with grip.
Run periodic checks to maintain your monkey bars' safety
Even if your monkey bars met all safety standards and regulations when you first bought them, it doesn't mean that you can just forget about them and let your kids use them all the time!
Periodic checks are vital to ensure that the monkey bars are still safe and haven't been compromised by repeat use or weather elements;
You should always make sure that the monkey bars are dry, especially if they aren't located underneath a roof or a sheltered area, and that none of the bars are loose;
We also recommend checking that the grass patch is still solid and that there are no hazardous items underneath the monkey bars, as they could result in a painful fall.
Show your kids how to use the monkey bars safely
Your kids will probably go ape and want to jump on their new monkey bars as soon as you install them, but this could lead to falls and accidents:
Before they try them for the first time and whenever you see them in trouble, show your kids how to use them safely with a quick demonstration;
You should also discourage them from hanging upside down as they could incur in a head injury by falling off the monkey bars that way;
If you're buying monkey bars for more than one kid, remind them that they shouldn't use them at the same time, as they could easily hit each other while swinging their legs;
We also recommend adult supervision for the first few times. However, if you've opted for more advanced designs like domed monkey bars, it's safer to always keep an eye on your kids while they're using them.