There was a time when the only wooden playhouses the average kid could hope for consisted of nothing more than a few random lumps of wood nailed together by a well-meaning dad. Fun in the first instance, but at the first whiff of a gust of wind or downpour, the whole thing was pretty much destroyed – assuming of course it wasn’t a death trap in the first place!
These days however, things really couldn’t be more different. Not only is it now easier and more affordable to pick up fantastic playhouses than ever before thanks to the web, but the quality of the better examples on the market is simply outstanding. Built to last and in accordance with strict safety guidelines, professional quality playhouses for children make wonderful additions to any home and can be a Godsend during the warmer months of the year.
That being said however, there are periodic safety checks that all parents should carry out on their own kids’ playhouses, just to make sure all is as it should be.
1 – Severe Weather Damage
For example, if and when the weather has been particularly brutal at any time of the year, it’s important to check for any damage done to the integrity of the playhouse and its features. Most are built to last, but few are impervious to damage when it comes to fierce storms and windy conditions. As such, it’s wise to give it a full going over inside and out following any period of poor weather.
2 – Heat and Humidity
If you have a wooden playhouse in the garden, you’ll also need to keep an eye on things during times of excessive heat and high humidity too. The reason being that heat and humidity can cause wood to expand, warp and generally move in a manner that could put the structure of the playhouse at risk of losing integrity. The better playhouses on the market are built in such a way as to withstand these kinds of temperature changes, but it’s still a good idea to keep an eye on them.
3 – Loose Nails and Screws
Another important check that should be carried out from time to time is that of making sure there are no loose nails, screws or connectors of any sort slowly working their way out of their respective fittings. Over time, it’s largely inevitable that some bits and pieces will come loose, most of which will escape the attention of your kids entirely. It’s therefore simply a case of checking along all joints inside and out in order to pick up on any loose nails and screws that could do with being tightened.
4 – Wood Splinters
High quality playhouses these days are made from specially treated and finished wood which is uniquely safe for use where kids will be playing day in and day out, often quite roughly. However, older playhouses and those that have been in use for years may from time to time require a little time and attention to smooth over any areas of the wood that have become split, chipped, worn or in any way damaged as all such wear and tear can increase the chances of a child picking up a splinter.
5 – Direct Sun
This is rarely a problem when it comes to higher-quality playhouses on the market and those made by leading brands, but in some cases to the contrary it is important to avoid keeping plastic playhouses in direct sun for hours on end. The reason being that not only can the plastic heat up in its own right and create a hazard for kids, but the strength and integrity of the plastic will also be compromised due to the excessive heat. This is just one of the reasons it pays to invest in a quality playhouse in the first place, though in all cases it’s a good idea to keep a watchful eye over plastics left in the sun for extended periods.
6 – Paint Choice
Last but not least, if at any time you decide to give the playhouse a new lick of paint inside or out, be sure to use a paint that’s appropriate for the job. Not only does it need to be a paint that’s 100% safe for kids to be in close proximity to for extended periods of time, but also needs to stay safe and ideally in its place when exposed to the elements outdoors. If it’s the kind of paint that’s prone to flaking at the first sign of sunshine, it’s far from the right paint for the job.