Playground Safety for Children
Some of the most common injuries affecting children happen on playgrounds. Whether this is at a school, in your own backyard or at a daycare center, these injuries can be catastrophic. According to research collected by Safe Kids, approximately 228,000 children under the ages of 14 go to the emergency room for injuries tied to a playground accident every single year. The majority of the playground related injuries that were ultimately treated in emergency rooms happened at parks or schools.
The vast majority of playground related injuries are falls and these can cause serious problems such as broken bones, fractures, traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. Unfortunately, some children may even suffer fatal injuries on the playground.Fatalities Can Happen Even on a Playground
The Consumer Product Safety Commission, for example, has investigated approximately 40 deaths between the years 2001 and 2008. Nearly 70% of these fatalities were the result of asphyxiation or hanging and a further 7% were caused by neck or head injuries- the rest were due to other causes. Child care providers, teachers, caregivers and parents all play a critical role in helping to prevent playground injuries. By supervising children on any playground at all times and following regulations about how playgrounds are constructed, the number of incidents and especially fatal accidents involving children can be significantly reduced.Tips for Preventing Accidents on Playgrounds
The Consumer Product Safety Commission in the United States has safety guidelines and warnings about playground services and it is also important for parents to be aware of the dangers of allowing their children to play on materials that are not age appropriate. More than 20,000 of the children who sustain playground injuries every single year are treated for concussions and other forms of traumatic brain injury. It is important to realize that more research still needs to be conducted in order to understand the true scope of the problem and what changes in surfaces and playground equipment can help to prevent injuries.
The overall rate of emergency department visits for playground related injuries in the form of a TBI specifically has significantly increased from 2005 to 2013. While all children are at risk for injuries on the playground, boys sustain emergency department treated injuries more often than girls and those children between the ages of 5 and 9 are most likely to visit the emergency department when compared with injuries for any other age group. The majority of these injuries happen at school, on climbing equipment and in monkey bars. The playgrounds that are properly maintained have a much lower risk of significant injuries compared with those playgrounds that have broken equipment or rusty equipment. Zero to 4 year olds are most commonly injured on swings and slides whereas those children between the ages of 5 and 9 are more frequently injured on monkey bars, swings and climbing equipment. Those children between the ages of 10 and 14 are most often injured on monkey bars, climbing equipment and swings, and schools are the most common location for children between the ages of 5 and 14 to sustain TBIs.Common Injuries Affecting Children on a Playground
Some of the most important things that can be done in order to decrease playground injuries include:
- Reading playground signs and using playground equipment appropriate for a child's age.
- Ensuring that there are guardrails in good condition located throughout the playground to prevent falls.
- Looking for anything in the area including obstacles, rocks and tree stumps that could trip the child.
- Ensuring that there are soft materials located underneath the playground area such as mulch wood chips or sand.
Children who is injured on playgrounds may have medical conditions that follow them for many years to come. If your child was injured because of a preventable accident, a dangerous piece of defective playground equipment, or a premises liability concern, you need the help of an experienced New York personal injury lawyer.