Playground Safety: Seesaw / Teeter Totter
The typical seesaw (also known as a “teeter totter”) consists of a board or pole supported at the center by a fulcrum and having a seat at each end. Seesaw use is quite complex because it requires two children to cooperate and combine their actions, posing a safety risk to children on the playground.
Younger children do not generally have the skills required to effectively use fulcrum seesaws. Therefore, seesaws are not recommended for preschool-age children unless they are equipped with a spring centering device to prevent abrupt contact with the ground should one child elect to dismount.
There is a trend to replace fulcrum seesaws on public playgrounds with spring-centered seesaws which have the advantage of not requiring two children to coordinate their actions in order to play safely. The fulcrum of fulcrum seesaws should not present a pinch or crush hazard.
Partial car tires, or some other shock-absorbing material, should be embedded in the ground underneath the seats of fulcrum seesaws, or secured on the underside of the seats. This will help prevent limbs from being crushed between the seat and the ground, as well as cushion the impact. Fulcrum see-saws may also be equipped with a spring centering mechanism to minimize the risk of injury due to impact with the ground.
Handholds should be provided at each seating position for gripping with both hands and should not turn when grasped. Handholds should not protrude beyond the sides of the seat. Footrests should not be provided on fulcrum see-saws unless they are equipped with a spring centering mechanism to minimize the likelihood of impact with the ground.
Fulcrum seesaws should be constructed so that the maximum attainable angle between a line connecting the seats and the horizontal is 25°.
If your child was severely injured from playing on a Seesaw / Teeter Totter, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and pain and suffering if the equipment is not up to code. For a free playground accident lawsuit case evaluation, fill out the simple form below and your case will be reviewed within 24 hours.