Tips for Keeping Your Slides in Good Shape

If you want to amuse your child at home, there will be few entertaining and enjoyable things than rocketing down a slide. However, in the summer, heat from the sun can beat down on the shiny playground slide without a bit of mercy.

To keep the slide in good shape, you might wonder how you keep a slide from getting hot and in good condition.

To protect your slide from getting too hot, consider the risks of heat exposure when designing the playground. Creating a new shade structure over your slide may be the best solution to this problem. Not only does it protect all your playground equipment, but it can also keep the kids cool and protect them from UV rays.

However, there is more to taking good care of your playground slide. Without proper maintenance, it’s impossible to keep the equipment in good shape.

Your kids may even be exposed to potential health hazards. So to help you keep your playground slide in proper shape and safe for your kids, I will share all that you need to know in the rest of the article.

6 Easy Steps to Install a Slide

If you want to take your kid’s playtime to the next level, attaching a slide to your playground structure may be the best way to do it. Connecting a slide is not a challenging feat, and anyone can do it with some essential tools. The task can become relatively easy if your playground structure comes with a platform to install a slide.

But if it doesn’t, don’t worry. You need to add a friendly flat platform to install the slide. Make sure the platform is of the perfect height. If it is, follow the following easy steps to install your slides:

Step 1:

First, you have to gather all of the necessary equipment. Here’s everything you may need:

  • Screwdriver (electric or manual).
  • Drill and drill bit.
  • A pen or a pencil.

Step 2:

Mockup the slide in position and ensure that the desired location will not cause any problems during installation.

Check if the opening is wide enough for the slide to fit correctly and whether the decline is of the right height. These simple steps can make sure you face no issues going through the rest of the steps.

Step 3:

Mark good locations for holes using a pen or pencil while the slide is in place. If you don’t have a pen or a pencil, you may use one of the screws instead.

Step 4:

Use your drill and make the holes. Please make sure the holes are as straight as they can be. It’s essential to ensure that the holes are of the correct size.

Step 5:

Install your screws until they are tight. But don’t over tighten them as it can strip the head or damage the wood.

Step 6:

Clean up the area and test the slide out. Before you let the kids lose, make sure to give the slide a good shake or two. You can also try putting a small load on it. If the slides are secure enough, they should be perfectly safe for your kids.

How Do You Maintain Your Slide?

Kids are a huge fan of slides. You should have one in your back garden. You may know it’s the best way to make your child smile and keep them entertained. However, after years of use and thousands of rides on it, the slide is bound to become a bit slippery.

Slippry Slide
Slippery Slide: Photo by https://unsplash.com/@ilumire

To keep your slide in a proper shape, you need to clean it and polish it from time to time. Let’s take a glimpse at how you can wash and polish your slide to make it as good as new again:

Step 1:

you can use warm water and a mild dish detergent to create a simple cleaning solution to remove any debris or mud that may have accumulated on your slide.

Step 2:

Give your slide a good scrub from top to bottom. You can use a hand towel or an abrasive rug to get the work done. Use your garden hose once all the dirt is out, and rinse off all the soap.

Step 3:

Before you start waxing or polishing the slide, let it dry completely.

Step 4:

Rub some wax paper from top to bottom of the slide’s surface. You may also use some spray-on wax.

Step 5:

If you run your hand down the slide’s surface and feel shallow grooves, you can remove them by sanding the surface with some sandpaper.

A Brief History

Nowadays, most plastic playground slides are designed to provide the safest experience for a child. But this was not the case for early playgrounds. Most playground slides were made of metal and quite unsafe.

It is still unclear whether the first playground slide was erected in Neighborhood House in early 1902 or at Coney House in 1903. But both areas are from Washington DC, and the first playground slide is speculated to be erected there.

Benefits of Playground Slides

Basic Slide
Basic Slide: photo by https://unsplash.com/@lilxim

Slides are excellent for your child. Here are some ways how slides are beneficial for children:

Great For Health: Slides help children’s physical and mental development in various ways.

A Very Stimulating Experience: A slide down the playground slide lets a kid enjoy some breeze in their faces and a swift, exciting movement. You cannot compare the thrilling experience to what other playground components offer.

Lots of Variety: There are many varieties of slides that children can enjoy. From fast descents, straight, to winding tunnels, there are some enjoyable options for all.

The Most Accessible Option: For children, a slide is the least intimidating option among all other playground structures.

The Best Type of Slide You Should Buy

If you plan to get a slide for your kids in your backyard, you might have several options you can check out. There are many types of slides, and most are pretty safe and easy to install.

The best type of slide ultimately depends on your wants and needs. There are slightly expensive options for a more adventurous experience for your child or budget-friendly ones that will let your child have an enjoyable ride.

Since each type of slide comes with its own set of benefits, let’s take a look at all of them:

Commercial Playground Slide

Playground Slide types
Playground Slide types photo by https://unsplash.com/@usatishaa

Although costly, these slides may be found in parks and often incorporate a ramp and an elevated platform. These slides are available in various designs and heights, including parallel, straight, and wavy.

Freestanding Slide:

These don’t come with any other play structures. Usually, freestanding slides are accessed using a ladder with steps or rungs.

Embankment or Mound Slides:

They are a safer type of slide, and it is best to avoid any step or ladder accidents.

Spiral Slide:

Spiral slides will be excellent if your child likes a more exciting experience on the slide. They are curved and ensure the most enjoyable experience when your children are sliding down.

Wave Slide:

Wavy slides are slightly bumpy and can create a feeling of sitting on the ocean waves for your children.

Sectional Slides: The most inexpensive slides of the bunch come with multiple pieces that you can disassemble.

How Do You Keep a Slide from Getting Hot?

It would help if you considered heat exposure when you design your playground. Incorporate some shade structures or shades to reduce the risk of rising temperatures or sun exposure. If the playground is older, it will need to be revamped to build new shade structures and replace any metal equipment.

Older playgrounds have a lot of metal playground equipment, and you must replace them with plastic ones. But you may have wondered, do plastic slides get hot?

Plastic slides may get hot, but they don’t get as hot as metal ones. Additionally, they come coated in heat-reducing paint. So they are a far better choice than metal slides.

What Became of the Metal Slides?

These days, metal slides have now become a thing of the past. Almost all of these towering metal slides are being replaced with plastic moulded models to adhere to the Consumer Product Safety Commission standards.

The slope and height restrictions are rather severe when it comes to slides. Sharp metal edges may easily cause injuries to a child’s vulnerable body parts since they are so fragile.

Furthermore, there aren’t any protective side rails, and a kid may flip to the side with ease on their way down. So metal slides are replaced by plastic ones covered in special heat-reducing paint.

Which is Hotter, Aluminum or Steel?

If the slide is made of metal, it should be no secret that it will get scorching. Even so, steel is one of the most popular options for a classic playground slide. Aluminium is hardly ever used as playground slide material.

Not only is steel more durable and slick, but it also won’t heat up as fast as aluminium. Aluminium is better in thermal conductivity and heats up much quicker than stainless steel.

How Do You Safeguard a Plastic Slide?

Backyard Plastic Slide
Backyard Plastic Slide: Photo by https://unsplash.com/@ahaji

A visit to the playground should offer your children some fresh air, a fun time with their friends and exercise. But before you send them off to have fun, make sure there is no faulty equipment an unsafe structure that can ruin your kid’s enjoyment.

If your plastic slide has become too fast or slow, it can be a potential safety hazard for your child. Here’s how you can safeguard the plastic slide:

Making Your Plastic Slide Faster

If the plastic slide is too slow, it can cause friction burn for your child. The best remedy is to prepare a cleaning solution and scrub the whole slide properly. After the slide dries down, rub wax paper all over the plastic surface.

Making Your Plastic Slide Slower

When the plastic slide becomes too slippery or fast, you can use duct tape to solve your problem. Just take some tape and place it at the centre throughout the entire length of the surface of the slide.

If you are wondering if I can paint a plastic slide, I would recommend not to do it. If you paint or sand the plastic slide, it may cause permanent damage. So duct tape may be the best and safest option.

What Goes at the Bottom of a Slide?

Unfortunately, more than 200,000 children need to visit the emergency department each year due to playground-related injuries. These injuries happen mostly when a child falls on the ground from the equipment.

Playground Surface
Playground Surface: photo by https://unsplash.com/@usatishaa

We don’t want our child’s cherished park to turn into a dangerous place. According to the USCPSC, A thick layer of specific materials should be under all playground equipment, including slides, in all directions, and the layer should be 6″ The layer should be made of:

 

  • Wood chips, sand, mulch, or pea gravel.
  • Safety-tested rubber mats.

What is the Maximum Incline of a Slide?

For the most fun and safety, the target angle for a slide is usually between 30-45 degrees. Under the CSPC Playground Safety Handbook, I would build all slides to an average angle of 30 degrees, and they must never exceed 50 degrees.

Nobody wants their children getting hurt on the same playground equipment where they should have the most enjoyable time. So it is best to build slides at a standard angle to keep our kids safe and healthy.

What Should the Length of a Playground Slide be?

There’s no correct answer to the length of a playground slide, but the length of a slide should always be about two times the deck height for the perfect height. So for a slide of 5 feet height deck, the length should be at least 10 feet as well.

The length of the slide will depend on the height of your slide. For children’s slides, the height usually never goes over 5 feet.

So the length would be about 10 feet as well. For slightly older children, the slide’s height will be 10, 12, or even 25 feet high, and the length will be twice the height.

How Can You Make a Slide More Secure?

This Slide needs a little care to be safe
This Slide needs a little care to be safe photo by https://unsplash.com/@timmossholder.

It’s easy to keep the playground fun, entertaining, and safe for your kids if you regularly check the equipment for any safety hazards.

However, before your kid gets on the slide for some thrilling ride, you can safeguard a plastic slide by:

  • Even plastic slides can get hot, so if you have a slide built in your backyard, design or revamp it with some shaded structure.
  • On top of the slide, there ought to be a platform with rails that children can hold. A hood, guardrail, or other structure on top can ensure the child sits before coming down the slide.
  • There should be no glass, toys, rocks, sticks, debris, or other children that can get in the way of a child safely landing. Keep a space accessible in front of the slide equal to the distance of the platform height.
  • Teach your kid to come down the slide feet first to keep them safe from any head injuries.

Conclusion

Playground slides are not just for the community. You can have a playground slide too. Keeping it clean and in excellent condition is essential, but having fun outdoors with friends is all about sliding down!

Slides come in many different shapes and sizes, from wooden slides to metal or plastic types. It’ll be vital to protect outdoor play equipment like this reliably against weather conditions because they’re considerable assets as well as a way to keep our children safe during fun times out the backyard.

Thank you for reading. I hope this article has inspired your backyard and helped make it the most fun and a fantastic place to be!

Sources of Information

B. & Swing Set Spot. (2019, October 5). How To Attach A Slide To A Swing Set: Step by Step With Pictures. SwingSetSpot. https://swingsetspot.com/how-to-attach-a-slide-to-a-swing-set-step-by-step-with-pictures/

W. (2021, June 23). How to Polish a Plastic Playground Slide. Adventure World Play Sets. https://www.adventureworldplaysets.com/blog/playset-quality/how-to-polish-a-plastic-playground-slide

Wikipedia contributors. (2021, August 6). Playground slide. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Playground_slide

K. (2021a, June 22). Benefits of Playground Slides. LTC. https://littletikescommercial.com/blog/benefits-of-playground-slides/?lang=can

Bush, E. & Foter. (2020, June 16). Please Wait. . . | Cloudflare. Foter. https://foter.com/how-to-choose-a-slide

USA SHADE. (2021). Protecting Your Playground from the Sun | USA SHADE. https://www.usa-shade.com/resources/articles/protecting-your-playground-from-the-sun

Latham, S. (2021, July 1). 17 Things That Have Disappeared From Playgrounds. Cheapism. https://blog.cheapism.com/forgotten-playground-equipment/#slide=2

Vollans, C. & AskingLot.com. (2020, January 14). What metal heats up the fastest? AskingLot.Com. https://askinglot.com/what-metal-heats-up-the-fastest

YM & Playgroundresource.com. (2021, July 31). How to Make Playground Slides Faster or Slower – Easy Fix | Playground Resource. Playgroundresource.Com. https://playgroundresource.com/how-to-make-playground-slides-faster-or-slower-easy-fix/

Gilchrist, MD, FAAP, J. & American Academy of Pediatrics. (2018, November 6). Playground Safety. HealthyChildren.Org. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-play/Pages/Safety-on-the-Playground.aspx

GetTrampoline.com. (2019, April 20). 7 Helpful Tips for Deciding on a Playground Slide Angle. https://www.gettrampoline.com/playgrounds/perfect-playground-slide-angle/

Swing Set Mall.com. (2021). FAQ: Slides – SwingSetMall.com. www.Swingsetmall.Com. https://www.swingsetmall.com/faq-slides/

6 thoughts on “Tips for Keeping Your Slides in Good Shape”

  1. Thanks for this interesting article. I dont have a garden so i dont need to worry about that sort of stuff these days. But it has been interesting to read though as we hope to be getting a house with a garden again soon. So a slide may well be on the cards. Theres nothing worse than a slide you get stuck halfway down.

    Reply
    • I remember how frustrating it was when I had to go down the slide with many kids blocking my way. Thank you for the feedback, Kwidzin!

      The slide is great because it gives grown-ups some exercise, but children have fun going up and down as they please without any hassle.

      Reply
  2. This brought back so many childhood memories when I read “how do you keep your slide from getting hot”. We used to go down a metal slide in our local park, and yes, we used to get burnt and cut on it. So I am not surprised that the safety regulations have done away with metal slides. Thank you for sharing some great tips and ideas on having your own slide at home.

    Reply
    • It sounds like your favourite childhood activity has become a painful experience. Slides were one of my favourites when I was growing up, and it feels great to pass on that knowledge! It’s amazing how quickly you can get hurt, too–I’m so glad we’re talking about this now before something bad happens to our kids.

      Many thanks to you, LineCowley.

      Reply
  3. These playsets can provide hours of enjoyment for kids, I believe that because we make the investment we should do all that we can to keep them in good repair and you have given us just what we need to do that. Thanks so much for a well-detailed post. Your post is like the A-Z when it comes to keeping backy slides in good condition.

    Reply
    • We are all guilty of neglecting certain aspects of our lives. But if we don’t take care of the slide, it’s going to need an upgrade sooner rather than later! That is why keeping up with maintenance can not only put the fun back into your slip and slides but prevent injury as well.

      Many Blessings

      Reply

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