If you have younger children, the chances are good that you have spent some time on the playground – perhaps in a local park, or at your child’s school. And despite the steps taken over the years to ensure a safety environment for the kids (the viciously hot metal slides and concrete pavers beneath the jungle gym are things of myth, now), it seems that children may still be at serious risk of serious injuries while they play.
The main concern? Traumatic brain injuries, according to the National center for Injury Prevention and control. ABC News reports:
“Researchers from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control looked at injury rates for kids under 14 from 2005 to 2013 and determined that there was a significant increase in children going to the emergency room for traumatic brain injuries. Boys accounted for 58.6 percent of the TBIs identified while 50.6 percent of children with TBIs were between the ages of five and nine, according to a study published today in the Pediatrics Medical Journal.”
Swings and monkey bars were named as the main contributors to these types of injuries.
However, the question remains – are we seeing more TBIs being reported because the playgrounds themselves are inherently dangerous? Or is it, as speculated by the authors of the study, that kids are spending more time on playgrounds (meaning an increased chance of injury) and people are paying more attention to the signs and symptoms of brain injuries?
Common injuries from playground accidents
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have other concerns besides traumatic brain injuries. According to their research, around 200,000 children will sustain an injury on a playground each year. Almost half of those injuries will be categorized as severe – “fractures, internal injuries, concussions, dislocations, and amputations,” and the overwhelming majority (around 75%) will happen on public playgrounds.
Parents should be aware, however, that a number of children die each year from playground injuries – and around 70% of those deaths will occur while the child is playing at home. Strangulation and falls are the leading cause of playground-related deaths.
Making playgrounds safe for kids
We may not be able to prevent every bump and bruise our children sustain during play, but we can make sure that their playgrounds and equipment are the safest available.
- Avoid rusty or broken equipment, and teach your children to do the same.
- Make sure your child is not wearing anything around his or her neck that could be caught on a piece of equipment; think scarves, drawstring hoodies, jewelry, even bike helmets.
- Install your own playground equipment over soft, non-toxic materials, like sand.
- Make sure your child uses the right sized swing for his or her age, weight and height.
- Never allow your child to use a playground unattended, and make sure that school and daycare staff members do the same.
Children will play, and sometimes they will get hurt in the process. But if your child sustains a serious injury because of defective equipment or while on dangerous, ill-kept playgrounds, you may have a claim for compensation. To find out more, please contact Crandall & Pera Law and schedule your consultation with an experienced products liability attorney in Ohio or Kentucky.
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