Look for swing sets that comply with all ASTM standards for quality and safety. ASTM is a leading standards organization whose quality, testing and safety guidelines are recognized globally. Look for recessed hardware that doesn’t “stick out.”
Recessed hardware increases safety for children climbing on a swing set and keeps clothes from snagging on rough edges. Also, see that the hardware used throughout the swing set is commercial-grade. Angled surfaces are important because they allow children more stability when climbing – avoid straight up and down climbing surfaces.
Look for ladder rungs that are non-slip. Flat, non-slip ladder rungs are the best for sure-footed climbing. Ask about the wood sealant. Specifically, you want to know if the sealant is water based. Other types of wood stains can be toxic.
High-quality wooden swing sets, such as those made of redwood or western red cedar, allow an eco-friendly water-based, non-toxic sealant to be used. Here are some tips for keeping your playground safe: http://www.swingsets.com/customer-service/safety/