Washington Town Bans Swings From School Playgrounds

Aaron BurdenUnsplash

The playgrounds that we adults used to play on are becoming a thing of the past; steel bars embedded in concrete have given way to kinder, gentler playthings surrounded by cedar chips or squishy rubber. And now, as far as a school district in Washington (state) is concerned, it’s time for the swings to go, too.

Swings are being banned on school playgrounds in Richland, Washington, according to KEPR over fears of children getting injured and the schools having to pay out high liability insurance payments. Richland School District spokesperson Steve Aagard said that the swing ban makes perfect sense considering the safety of the kids.

“As schools get modernized or renovated or as we’re doing work on the playground equipment, we’ll take out the swings, it’s just really a safety issue, swings have been determined to be the most unsafe of all the playground equipment on a playground.”

The swing-banning process in the Richland area has actually been going on for some time, according to The Tri-City Herald. As the schools have replaced worn-out or unsafe equipment over the past decade, they’ve been removing the swing sets here and there. Soon there will be no swings left, and parents, not unexpectedly, are split on the issue.

Richland resident Gail Thorricellas told KOMO that she played on swings when she was a child, and she turned out fine.

“They were our great joy, and we all played on them. I truly can’t remember anyone being hurt.”

Similarly, Mark Panther told the Tri-City Herald that he, too, has fond memories of playing on the swings, but can see why some may want swings banned.

“I don’t necessarily disagree with the parents (who want swings). I grew up with them. But it’s a matter of liability.”

Other parents are glad to see the swings banned. Muge Kaineoz, whose daughter will be starting at Richland schools next year, is glad to see the Richland schools protecting her daughter from swings.

“When she starts elementary school, those swings can get crazy.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), some 200,000 children in the U.S. are seen in emergency rooms each year for playground injuries; many of those are children who were hit walking too close either in front of or behind swings. And while playground-related deaths are rare (147 between 1990-2000), they are no less horrifying when they happen. For example: According to this Inquisitr report, a 3-year-old child in Atlanta died of asphyxiation after accidentally hanging himself on playground equipment.

Do you believe the Richland Schools are making the right decision in banning swings from their school playgrounds? Let us know what you think below.