Sunday 20 November 2022

Death-trap swings: majority of German playgrounds not fitted with winter tyres

Darmstadt (dpo) - German playgrounds are insufficiently prepared for the cold season – that is according to the results of a nationwide investigation carried out by the Technical Inspection Association TÜV which sampled over 300 sites. In particular, their experts criticised the lack of winter tyres on swings and seesaws. In adverse weather conditions, this could cause life-threatening accidents.

Overall, the inspectors’ assessment was scathing. Even now, part way through November, more than three quarters of the playgrounds inspected were still only equipped with summer tyres. That means that in snow or ice children may easily lose control of their play equipment and overturn.
Landing headfirst in a ditch will soon wipe that smile off her face
Harald Osterhagen of the Technical Inspection Association therefore recommends an immediate refit, “If winter tyres are no longer an option, snow chains or spikes should be used in corresponding weather conditions”, the expert explains. “Just taking it slowly while playing on the swing or seesaw is not sufficient.” Even all-weather tyres are not recommended and are not even legal in some parts of the country.
At risk of skidding in ice or snow: seesaw with summer tyres
As well as the inappropriate tyres, the TÜV inspectors also discovered several other deficiencies that make playgrounds a safety risk in winter. Poorly insulated metal bars on climbing frames and other play equipment, for example, pose the risk of children getting stuck to them by their tongues and dying a painful death. Furthermore, next to no slides had been appropriately gritted. Communities are therefore advised to close down ill-prepared playgrounds during and following heavy snowfall and sub-zero temperatures, as well as at night – at least until winter tyres have been properly fitted by a qualified car mechanic.
dan, fed, ssi; idea: mbe; picture above: Polizei Bochum, picture in the middle: Northsweden / Shutterstock, picture below: J. Helgason / Shutterstock; first published 2018-01-08
Read the German version HERE.
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