Swing sets too dangerous for Richland schools

RICHLAND, Wash. - Swing sets are being removed from the playgrounds at all Richland elementary schools because they're just too dangerous, school officials say.

The district says it's under pressure from insurance companies over the liability for injuries.

The school district's Steve Aagard tells KEPR News the swings are being removed when schools are renovated or there's other work on playground equipment.

"It's just really a safety issue," he said. "Swings have been determined to be the most unsafe of all the playground equipment."

Each year, about 200,000 children go to the emergency room for injuries that happened on a playground, and most injuries come from children walking in front or behind a moving swing.

Muge Kaineoz's daughter will be starting school next year in Richland. She's in favor of the decision to remove swings.

"When she starts elementary school, those swings can get crazy," she says, adding that she once witnessed a toddler walk right in front of a moving swing.

"By the time you could do something about it she was knocked out," said Kaineoz.

Other parents see swings as a regular part of being a kid - danger or not.

"They were our great joy, and we all played on them. I truly can't remember anyone being hurt," says Richland resident Gail Thorricellas.