According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”), emergency departments in U.S. hospitals treat more than 200,000 children 14 and younger each year for playground-related injuries. About 45% of such injuries are severe: fractures, internal injuries, concussions, dislocations, and amputations. In the decade between 1990 and 2000, 147 children ages 14 and younger died from playground-related injuries. As for non-fatal injuries, almost 75% occurred on public playgrounds such as those found at schools and daycare centers.
Certain groups are at a greater risk of suffering a playground-related injury than others. For example, girls sustain injuries (55%) slightly more often than boys (45%). Children ages 5 to 9 have higher rates of emergency department visits for playground injuries than any other age group. And a study in New York City found that children in low-income areas were more likely to be subjected to maintenance-related playground hazards than children in high-income areas.
Certain types of playground equipment are also more likely to cause injuries than others. On public playgrounds, for example, more injuries occur on climbers than on any other equipment. By contrast, on home playgrounds, swings are responsible for most injuries.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to protect your child from suffering a playground-related injury:
- Ensure that your children are not wearing loose clothing that could become entangled in playground equipment;
- Check your children’s shoes to be certain they are in good shape and maintain a sufficient tread;
- Inspect the playgrounds where your children play to make sure the equipment is safe and well-maintained;
- Make sure your children are playing on playgrounds that are appropriate for their age;
- Supervise your children when they are playing on at-home playgrounds.
If your child has been injured or killed as a result of a playground accident, you may have a right to seek compensation from the playground owner, the person or entity responsible for playground maintenance, the person responsible for supervising your child or the manufacturer of the playground equipment on which they were injured. To find out if you may have a case, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by filling out our free online case evaluation form.