Firefighters have chided an 11-year-old girl who was trapped in a baby swing in Whitchurch yesterday (August 2).

A crew from Whitchurch Fire Station was called at 6pm on Monday to a play area in Kingsley Park, where the girl had become trapped in play equipment designed for children much younger than her.

A spokesperson for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service said: “It's not big and it's not clever as well as being potentially very painful. You'd have thought the message would have gotten round by now!”

They linked the incident to a trend on social media platform TikTok, in which young people film themselves forcing their bodies into children’s swings. Firefighters have warned of the risks of such actions, including the potential for injury and by diverting crews from other, potentially more serious incidents.

Numbers of such incidents vary around the country, but figures released by the London Fire Brigade show that following 32 incidents in 2019, this rose to 52 in 2020 and was at 21 by May this year, with 12 of these taking place in just one month.

While firefighters can sometimes dismantle the swing around the trapped individual, and use pressure to expand the specific component to free them, it isn’t always possible, and can require the swing to be cut open by specialist tools. These then have to be replaced, which can cost a significant amount.