I know, a bit off topic, but after taking my 18-month old to some dangerous playgrounds (we didn’t stay), I think the issue needs attention.
According to the National Safety Council, more than 200,000 children visit hospital emergency rooms each year because of playground injuries. Also, approximately, 15 kids die each year because of playground injuries.
Many of these playground injuries can be prevented. Here are some of the preventable reasons kids get injured on the playground:
1. Improper Surface: Because nearly 70% of playground injuries are caused by falls to the ground, it is crucial that the proper surface be used to lessen injury. Too many playgrounds use concrete, grass or dirt as the surface. Those are simply too hard. If cities and/or entities are inviting kids to play on their playground, they should use shredded tires and rubber mats or bark mulch or sand. These cushion falls much better and can prevent or reduce the chance of injury.
2. Swings & Slides: Too often swings are placed too close to other equipment resulting in injuries. Also, metal and wooden seats are more dangerous than soft seats. Slides need to be well-anchored and have firm handrails and good traction on the steps. There should also be a bar at the top of the slide so that children have to sit down before they go down the slide.
3. Climbing Dangers: Kids love to climb. Cities and entities know that. Thus, they need to take better precautions to avoid climbing injuries. Steps and handrails must be in good condition. Any raised platform needs to be guarded by a guardrail or barrier surrounding it.
Kids are kids. They will all get their share of bumps and bruises, especially on the playground. However, if those bumps and bruises turn into preventable broken arms and other serious injuries, then the playground owner/operator should be held responsible. The owner/operator knows who they are catering to when they open their playground. They are required to take steps to prevent preventable injuries.
If you child has been injured in a playground accident (whether at a park or a pizza place), you need to consult with an attorney before talking with the insurance companies. My firm has been representing families who have had children injured while playing for over 52 years. To contact me to discuss your possible case, simply click here.