Pushing the limits of a swing is a rite of childhood. But one mom is warning that, sometimes, spinning too fast can cause unusual health problems.
Jordan wrote that their son “loves to spin around; he’s a bit of a thrill seeker.” The young boy was playing outside with his friends when he got on the swing and asked his friends to spin him faster and faster. But in this case, “he held his head out the entire time and he let it go too long.” She wrote:
As he spun faster and faster with his head back, the centrifugal force/pressure forced blood to rush to the top of his head causing blood to immediate pool/bruise, (which looked like his head was spray painted or burned). Plus the blood vessels in his eyes and eye lids burst from the extreme pressure.
When Jordan’s son got off the swing, he collapsed and might have passed out briefly. The boy’s friends came inside to tell his parents that he was having difficulty breathing and complaining that his “brain hurt.”
**Just so parents are aware of what could happen when your child spins way too fast for way too long on a swing with…
The worried parents checked out their son, concerned that their son may have suffered a brain injury:
Keep in mind he never actually hit his head, this was only from the centrifugal force pulling while spinning on the swing. (Similar traumatic brain injuries occur from shaking baby syndrome.)
The mom and dad took him to the ER, where the staff was immediately confused by the red coloring on the crown of the boy’s head:
The doctors and nurses were puzzled and thought he spray painted his head because they have not seen this type of presentation of blood bruising before. They were very quick to examine his head, eyes and inner ears and sent him for a C.T.
Fortunately, the tests showed that Jordan’s son hadn’t experienced any internal injuries or swelling of the brain. Jordan is grateful her son wasn’t hurt but plans to exercise more care with how he uses the swing from now on.
As she told Dearly, she and her husband grew up in an era when kids were encouraged to “go out and play” and were often unsupervised. That meant they “did silly things, got hurt and got over it most times.” This has been their approach with their own children:
“Our kids are encouraged to be kids and play and along the way we try to teach common sense and making good decisions.”
However, the unusual injury her son sustained demonstrates that things have changed since they were kids. She told Dearly:
“We had ‘normal’ swings, the ones on chains that only spin around about 10 times. Our lives now are advanced and so are the toys our kids play with. This swing can be spun for over a minute at high rates of speed. So, we as kids only spun a certain amount because to be honest, we were limited by our swing, or else we would have pushed the limit as well. So, as we advance we must also realize we are advancing the dangers that naturally come along with those things.”
Fortunately, Jordan’s son was back to his old self within a few days — though it took about a week for him to heal. She told Dearly:
“It could have been much worse but thank God, he was able to learn a very important lesson without long term consequences.”
Jordan wrote that she isn’t trying to alarm people or say that their kids shouldn’t be able to spin on swings. However, she wanted parents to know that there are dangers to letting kids spin too much on swings that are designed to enable it.
“You just don’t think about it when they are just having fun and laughing,” she wrote. “But, we just have to know when it’s too fast or going on for too long. You know just like everything else, moderation is key!”