A swing is a piece of playground equipment with a seat that is generally attached to a frame using a length of rope/chain. Children sit down on the seat and by moving their legs forward and backward create a swinging motion that causes the seat to swing high. The swinging may also be assisted by another person pushing from behind.
In Victoria, between 2010/11 and 2012/13, 249 children (aged 0-14 years) were admitted to hospital for fall injuries associated with swings. There are no recent published statistics available for NSW.1
It is recommended that manufacturers of swing sets follow the Australian Standard (AS/NZ 4685.2:2014).
It is recommended that the installation of swing sets also follow the Australian Standard (AS/NZS ISO 8124.6:2011 and Amdt 1:2012).
These are voluntary standards that manufacturers and installers are not required to meet, however The Children’s Hospital at Westmead suggests that you purchase a swing set that meets the standards. Please keep in mind the following when installing swings at home:
- anchor the swing well.
- place a soft surface underneath the swing that extends 2.5m past the longest point of extension from the swing seat, in both the forward and backward directions. This soft surface should be 300mm deep.
- leave a large, open space around the swing.
(Check the standard for detailed information.)
1 Cassell E and Clapperton A. Preventing serious fall injury in children (1): Overview and playground equipment. Hazard Edition No. 77; 2014.