Full Bucket Swing Extrication

Here’s a not so routine extrication to think about as you cruise by your local public park.  How are you going to get a child out of a full bucket swing who has become stuck.

The scenario is: a child’s legs are to big for the openings, but gravity squeezed them in for the swing ride.  Now, the child can’t get out.

These swings are recommended for an age range of 1-3, are constructed with a polymer mold, and have galvanized bucket hangers that are riveted to the mold.  We found that inside the mold is a thin metal, maybe aluminum that further strengthens the mold, and also makes it more difficult to cut.

The child's legs were stuck in the uncut part of this swing. By cutting the mold in 2 spots with a sawzal, the rigidity of the mold was weakened enough to wiggle (technical term) the child's legs out.

Several things to think about:

  • Eliminate gravity from the equation – cut the chains and lower the child to the ground.
  • Popping, drilling, or cutting the rivets wasn’t a great option due to the close proximity of the child’s body.
  • We tried cutting the mold with bolt cutters and wire cutters unsuccessfully, prior to using the sawzal.

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