11,000 wooden play sets recalled by the CPSC

Consumer Reports News: June 11, 2008 03:27 PM

The Consumer Product Safety Commission today recalled 11,000 wooden backyard play sets after getting 114 reports of glider hangers breaking and causing children to fall. The agency received three reports of minor injuries including a child who was hit in the head by a chain that detached from a glider hanger. Owners of the Adventure and Create-N-Adventure play sets are being advised to remove the gliders immediately.

The swing sets are made of wood and feature various types of gliders, slides and swings. They were manufactured by Backyard Leisure and sold at Wal-Mart stores nationwide and Wal-Mart.com under the Adventure Playsets brand, and at Toys 'R' Us stores nationwide under the Create-N-Adventure brand from January 2008 through May 2008 for between $400 and $1,500. The recalled Adventure sets include model numbers 65008 and 65208 and the recalled Create-N-Adventure sets include model numbers 30008 and 30108.  “Adventure Play Set” or “Create-N-Adventure,” and “Pittsburg, KS 66762” is printed on a plaque in the middle of the swing sets’ upper beam. The name and model number is printed on the manufacturer’s instructions that come with the play set. Photos of the four sets are featured on the CPSC Web site.

After removing the gliders from the swing sets, consumers should contact Backyard Leisure to receive free replacement glider hangers and repair instructions. For additional information, contact Backyard Leisure at (866) 546-7902 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, visit the firm’s Web site at www.adventureplaysets.com, or email the firm at custservice@adventureplayets.com

Safety checklist
Although the injuries associated with this recall were the result of faulty equipment, each year more than 200,000 children go to hospital emergency rooms with injuries associated with playground equipment. Most injuries occur when a child falls from the equipment onto the ground. Many backyard play sets are placed on dirt or grass–surfaces that do not adequately protect children when they fall. You can help prevent such accidents by following these tips from the CPSC:

  • Install and maintain a shock-absorbing surface around the play equipment.
  • Use at least 9 inches of wood chips, mulch, or shredded rubber for play equipment up to 7 feet high. If sand or pea gravel is used, install at least a 9-inch layer for play equipment up to 5 feet high. Or, use surfacing mats made of safety-tested rubber or rubber-like materials.
  • Install protective surfacing at least 6 feet in all directions from play equipment. For swings, be sure surfacing extends, in back and front, twice the height of the suspending bar.
  • Never attach—or allow children to attach—ropes, jump ropes, clotheslines, or pet leashes to play equipment; children can strangle on these.
  • Check for hardware, like open "S" hooks or protruding bolt ends, which can be hazardous.
  • Check for spaces that could trap children, such as openings in guardrails or between ladder rungs; these spaces should measure less than 3.5 inches or more than 9 inches.
  • Make sure platforms and ramps have guardrails to prevent falls.
  • Check for sharp points or edges in equipment.
  • Remove tripping hazards, like exposed concrete footings, tree stumps and rocks.
  • Regularly check play equipment and surfacing to make sure both are in good condition.
  • Carefully supervise children on play equipment to make sure they are safe.

If you are installing a play set at home consult the CPSC's Home Playground Safety Handbook.

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