Parents slam bizarre playground feature: 'Makes it more dangerous'

·News Reporter
·2-min read

Frustrated parents have taken aim at a set of swings in a Melbourne playground because of one questionable feature.

The swings in the Northeast corner of Flagstaff Gardens in Melbourne's CBD have a metal chain across the seat with confused locals wondering why.

"Why are there chains across the swings?" one person questioned, sharing a photo of the playground online.

Parents say the feature makes it hard for kids to get on and off the swing. Source: Reddit
Parents say the feature makes it hard for kids to get on and off the swing. Source: Reddit

The Reddit poster claims the chain "makes it so hard" to get their child in and out of the swing that they use when all the baby swings are taken.

Some speculated it's designed as "back support" to help aid the user of the swing.

"Crappy back support, so the kids don't fall backwards?" one guessed.

"It stops the user from falling backwards and supports you while using it," another said.

But the poster wasn't convinced, further questioning the design.

"It is right across the centre, with no slack, so you can't lean against it," they said.

The playground was located in Flagstaff Gardens in Melbourne's CBD. Source: Getty
The playground was located in Flagstaff Gardens in Melbourne's CBD. Source: Getty

Playground mystery solved

Yahoo News Australia understands the chain across the swing is in fact a safety feature, but the chain is supposed to rest across the front of the child.

This particular configuration is in place at Flagstaff Gardens and Princes Park in Melbourne where there are ‘5-way’ swings – that is, swings that face each other in a circular design.

It's designed to stop children from jumping off a moving swing and colliding with other playground users.

Yahoo News Australia believes it's in line with Australian Standards.

"I assume they're meant to go belly side to cancel awesome flying dismounts," one person accurately guessed.

While the poster agreed it "makes sense", they doubted its effectiveness.

"Arguably the chain across the swings makes them more dangerous anyway, since it is much harder to exit, they said.

"It is still just as easy to fall off it. It makes it harder to fall off gracefully."

Some people said the design "seems dangerous" with others saying it's "weird".

Another user said their local playground also has chains on the swing and noted another reason why it's probably a good thing.

"Makes it near impossible for an adult to get on," they said, taking a swipe at grown-ups who utilise children's playgrounds for their own amusement.

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