Tire swings are a classic American backyard accessory. They’re easy to build, cheap, and fun to play on; what’s not to like?
Quite a lot, unfortunately.
DIY tire swings are some of the most dangerous kind of play equipment you can have. If you’ve got one hanging in your yard, it might be time to switch it out for something that’ll offer your kids the same fun without the hazards.
Tires are heavy and have no weight rating
Most tire swings are simple DIY constructions made with a regular department-store rope and an old tire. Unlike regular swing seats, tires are extremely heavy, and will put significant stress on the swing frame or tree branch that it’s suspended from. If you’re using a tree, you could damage and eventually kill the branch, weakening it.
If the swing isn’t properly maintained, either the branch or the rope might break even before it shows major signs of weathering. This is because the weight of the tire, plus one or more children using the swing puts far more stress on the rope than a proper swing seat would. Worst of all, if this were to happen, a playing child could easily end up underneath the heavy falling tire, making injuries that much more serious.
Old Tires are Hazardous
Tires are meant to absorb incredibly punishment from the road, the car they’re mounted on, and their internal air pressure. This makes them heavy and durable, but it also makes them remarkably unsafe toys.
The insides of tires collect water and dirt, and are a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects. Additionally, an old tire might have worn off treads with exposed rusty wire mesh that can cut someone or get caught on clothing.
Tires aren’t designed for play
Regardless whether your tire is installed vertically or horizontally, tires aren’t safe to swing on. A child sitting on the outside of a vertically hung tire can’t sit securely, and is liable to slip off. If they were to try to anchor their feet inside the tire while doing so, they risk getting limbs caught inside in the event of a fall, which can result in serious injuries.
They make you liable
DIY play equipment like most tire swings obviously aren’t protected to meet any safety standards. From a purely legal standpoint, that’s not a big deal unless your child’s friends also use the swing. If they were to get hurt, you could be held liable in a personal injury lawsuit.
Upgrade your swing set
If your kids are still using an old tire swing, swap it out for something that’s both safer and more fun! For example, a web swing allows multiple kids to swing together in a variety of different ways, without compromising their safety. Similarly, an outdoor fabric swing can be installed to swing in all directions, and function like a mini-hammock. Check them out in our store today!