Keeping Your Toddler Safe in an Outdoor Swing

Mom Kissing Toddler At The Playground
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One of the most popular toddler swings on the market, the iconic swing by Little Tikes, was recently recalled. Many families have that very swing hanging up in their backyards, so it's important to know how the recall affects you and what you can do to protect your little one from getting injured while using a toddler swing.

Here's what you need to know about the Little Tikes swing recall and tips for using a swing safely.

What Is the Swing Recall?

On February 23, 2017, Little Tikes issues a recall for its pink 2-in-1 Snug `N Secure Pink Swing. The recall number, 17-096, was for swings that were made between November 2009 and December 2013. The recall affected about 540,000 total swings and was issued because the plastic seat on the swing was cracking or breaking, causing injury to children when the swing fell down.

A reported 39 injuries from the swing included primarily abrasions, bruises, cuts and bumps to the head. Two of the reported injuries were children with a broken arm, so the recall was a serious one.

To tell if you have a swing that was affected by the recall, you can check the manufacturing date code stamp. This number is located on the back of the seat with a molded inner arrow that points to a number. Swings that are stamped with a “10,” “11,” “12,” or “13” or have a stamped “9” on the inner arrow combined with a number 43 or higher stamped on the outer arrow are included in the recall.

If you have a swing that was affected, the Little Tikes company is asking you to stop using the product immediately and to contact the company for credit towards the purchase of a new (non-recalled) swing replacement. You can call the company directly for more information or fill out a recall credit request on its website.

How to Keep Your Toddler Safe in a Swing

Although the recall is scary—nobody would want to entertain the thought that helping your toddler enjoy a swing on a warm summer day could lead to injury—it shouldn't prevent you from getting some valuable time outside with your toddler. Just keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Inspect your toddler's swing. Even if your swing isn't part of the recall, inspect it for any cracks, especially if it is made out of plastic. If you leave your swing outside during the winter months, it may be prone to cracking, which could lead to injury. And on that note, if you can, store any outdoor play equipment, like swings, away for the winter, to help keep them safely intact.
  • Check for loose connections. The same principle applies to any ropes or chains that attach your toddler swing to the play structure. Check to ensure that there are no loose or frayed ropes or breaks in the chain that could lead to malfunction if not replaced.
  • Purchase a swing with a safety harness. It's best to purchase a baby or toddler swing that includes a three-point harness for safety so that your child can not fall out of the seat or lean too far forwards or backwards. Always make sure that all of the buckles are properly fastened (listen for the click) before you start swinging. If your child is wearing a coat, that can interfere with the buckles, too, so just double check that he/she is properly harnessed first. You want your toddler to be both comfortable and as safe as possible.
  • Follow weight limits. Toddlers come in all shapes and sizes, so be sure to check the weight limit on your toddler swing. If your little one is growing quickly, he or she may be ready to move to a swing the next size up in order to reduce the risk of a fall.
  • Try a variety of outdoor activities. If you want to give the swing a rest, there are plenty of other outdoor activities that you can enjoy as a family. Try your hand at some bubble blowing, gardening, or simply taking a walk around your neighborhood to enjoy the sights and sounds.
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  • United States Product Consumer Safety Commission. Little Tikes recalls toddler swing due to fall hazard.