Swingsets are becoming a thing of the past at school playgrounds in a Washington state school district because insurance companies have decided they're too hazardous. "It's just really a safety issue; swings have been determined to be the most unsafe of all the equipment on a playground," a spokesman for Richland School District in the Tri-Cities area tells KEPR, which notes that some 200,000 emergency room visits happen across the country every year after playground accidents—and that most swing injuries happen when unwary children walk behind or in front of a moving swing.
The school district says the swings are being phased out after pressure from insurance companies. Some parents have objected to the move, which isn't unique to the district: Neighboring school districts have also been getting rid of swingsets and other "risky" playground equipment like merry-go-rounds in recent years. "I don't necessarily disagree with the parents [who want swings]. I grew up with them," the Richland district's executive director of support services tells the Tri-City Herald. "But it's a matter of liability." (Something a lot more dangerous than a swingset was found on a London playground earlier this year.)