The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that Big Lots (Columbus, Ohio) is voluntarily recalling approximately 6,900 Wilson & Fisher Garden Swings. These swings were sold exclusively at Big Lots stores nationwide from March 2012 through June 2012 for about $130. The swings are log-style swing sets sold in a natural wood finish, with a two-person bench seat suspended between two wooden A-frame supports. The recalled items, manufactured by Anji Jiayi Garden Supplies Company in China, pose a fall hazard to consumers because the wooden swing’s seat can break while in use. There have been 14 reports of swing seats breaking, which caused reports of back injuries, as well as surface wounds.
Consumers should immediately stop using the swings and return it to any Big Lots store for a full refund.
At any point during the design and manufacturing process, significant failures may contribute to playground equipment’s hazards, including (1) missteps during the early design stages; (2) inadequate testing to ensure safe performance; and (3) marketing efforts that include inadequate instructions and warnings, or even fail to include any relevant cautions. Even one act of negligenceduring the process from a recreational product’s conception to its sale can cause catastrophic injuries and wrongful death once the product reaches unsuspecting consumers. Swings and other playground equipment present particular concerns, given the young ages of users, and the activity levels at such venues.
Parents and caregivers should be informed about issues particular to playgrounds, including some important safety tips:
- Always supervise children on play equipment to make sure they are safe.
- Purchase playground equipment that meets the latest safety standards.
- Maintain at least 9 inches of protective surfacing, including shredded/recycled rubber, wood chips, wood mulch (non-CCA treated), sand or pea gravel under and around playground equipment to cushion children from falls.
- Check that protective surfacing extends at least 6 feet in all directions from play equipment. For swings, extend protective surfacing in front and back of the swing, twice the height of the suspending bar.
- Repair sharp points or edges on equipment. Replace missing hardware and close “S” hooks that can cause injuries.
If you or a family member have suffered significant personal injuries as the result of a defective product or negligence, contact the law office of Swartz & Swartz, P.C. Call (617) 742-1900 in the Boston area, or for clients in greater Massachusetts, New England, or other states across the U.S., call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.