Kids & Playground Accidents: Playground Safety
Playgrounds are designed to attract youngsters so they can exercise, let off steam, and soak in the sunshine. For the most part, that is what they deliver.
But as a careful parent and consumer, there are things you should be aware of concerning playground safety.
Not all playgrounds are created equal, and some show signs of negligence in playground equipment, design, maintenance, and in supervision of the children.
What to Look for: Safe Playground Equipment
As a parent, you never stop worrying about your child. But the more you know, the more you can help protect your little one from injuries, which are the leading cause of death in children ages 19 and younger, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
While scrapes and bruises can heal, there are some injuries that are more serious and can be life-altering.
The CDC reports every year more than 200,000 children, ages 14 and under, are injured on playground equipment.
And more than 20,000 of these injuries are traumatic brain injury (TBI) which would include a concussion. The rate is rising significantly.
Monkey bars, climbing equipment, and injuries involving swings are often the culprit. The majority of these injuries (75%) occur on a playground or public playground such as a school.
According to the CDC the types of injuries to school children on
*Slip and Fall
*Trauma to the head
*Fractures and breaks
*Exposure to toxins
The Children’s Hospital of Alabama says parents should look for absorbing surfaces to cushion a fall like wood chips, rubber, mulch, or sand.
Even when equipment is in proper working order, it may still pose some dangers. If it is not, the risk is even higher.
If, for example, the rungs of a ladder are not secured, that would point to negligence on the part of the owner of that equipment. An exposed corner could be full of rust, and a serious cut to a child means they may need to receive a tetanus shot.
If a school or daycare center has equipment that is in disrepair, rusty, or broken, it could be cited as negligence if your child is injured.
What to Look For: Adequate Supervision
When a playground is part of a school or facility, as a parent you expect someone to be watching out for your child. This does not always happen.
Kids fooling around, pushing, shoving, and taunting can lead to serious injuries such as a fall or concussion. Young children climbing the monkey bars too high can also result in a life-altering injury.
If an adult is supposed to be in charge and has failed to supervise to assure safety, that could amount to negligence.
It is interesting to know how serious injuries occur in a playground to assess whether supervision is adequate.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) investigated 40 deaths associated with playground equipment.
Between 2001 and 2008, the average age of death was six years old and of these, 68% died from strangulation involving slides or swings and jump ropes, while 15% died from falls.
The ages from 5 to 9 seem especially vulnerable in that group as they had the highest number of emergency room visits.
Are the adults in charge watching for any hanging hazards? Are there limits on how high kids can climb? Is there an authority figure to stop any bullying or taunting while in the playground and on the equipment?
These are the questions you need to ask and to observe as a careful parent.
Often these playground injury cases become negligence cases, and we will file our action against the party at fault.
Our experienced team will determine which entity is negligent – is it the manufacturer of faulty playground equipment, or the daycare center, or the manager of the playground? That could be the county or state, a public school, or a private daycare center.
In the case of an accident, it is important that you not only seek immediate medical care but also chronicle the scene.
Take pictures of the equipment before it disappears or is fixed. Get names of witnesses and their contact information. Ask if anyone used their cellphone to take a picture of what happened.
You will need a knowledgeable attorney to understand how to move forward on your case in order to receive compensation for your child’s injuries. Call the Law Office of J. Allan Brown, L.L.C. in Mobile at (251) 220-3199, or contact us online to discuss how we can work on your behalf.