Playgrounds are the place for children to lead active lives. Parents who want to minimise the amount of free time their children spend in front of a gadget usually bring them to a playground. Here, they can interact, enjoy and eat — all in a specially designed safe environment. But, parents discover that the risk facing their children is not even a playable feature of the park.
Fences serve an important function in playgrounds, primarily, keeping children within the safety of the play area. They also prevent animals such as dogs from entering and contaminating the playground, which is helpful for children with allergies. Finally, fences provide a sense of personal space for children, separating them from their surroundings.
What parents see as waist-high metal bars may serve as castle walls for the children playing within them. This makes it even more ironic when the children literally find themselves, or their appendages, stuck within the castle walls. This is commonly happening with bar fences, as chain wire fencing is shunned as an option since it cannot be distinctly painted. Parents must refrain from attempting to force their child’s head out of a fence. It can cause severe pain and make the child panic even more. Lubricants usually do the job, but firefighters prefer to use a different solution.
By using webbing (a durable, tensile cord) and a halligan (the firefighter’s axe, crowbar, and hammer rolled into one tool), they can create a space wide enough to release a child’s head. Firefighters will wrap the webbing from one of the bars trapping the child’s head to another bar about half a meter away. They fasten the halligan to the middle of the wrapped webbing, as the rescuer twists it around. This causes the webbing to tighten and bend the metal away from the child’s head, freeing it.
If a parent finds a child with their head stuck in a fence, they should call an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or the fire department immediately. The experience can cause trauma to the child, especially if help takes a very long to time to arrive. Parents must try to stabilise and comfort the child. Rescuers usually give stickers to saved children to conclude the experience on a positive note and prevent the child from developing anxiety.
Fortunately, many modern playgrounds have fences preventing children from sticking their head through. Parents must always supervise their children to prevent them from becoming trapped, as safety will always be ultimately in their hands.