This may come as a surprise to parents: Each year more than 200,000 kids (aged 14 and younger) in the US are treated in hospital ERs for playground-related injuries. Bucks County personal injury lawyer Michael L. Saile, Jr. stresses the importantance of equipment upkeep as one of the ways to avoid unnecessary injuries to children. Of course, parental supervision to ensure that children are using the equipment properly and overall behavior by children are also relevant to keeping playground injuries from occuring.
Injuries sustained on the playground often go far beyond cuts and scrapes, and can include:
- broken bones
- internal injuries
- traumatic brain injury
When a playground injury results in a fatality, it is most often due to strangulation or a hard fall. Though most incidences of injury occur on public playgrounds, 20% of ER visits are due to injuries sustained on home playgrounds.
With regard to playground injuries, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the following:
- 45% of playground-related injuries are severe
- Over 70% of nonfatal injuries occur on public playgrounds (such as schools, daycare centers, and parks)
- Girls have a higher rate of injury occurance than boys (55% to 45% respectively)
- Children aged 5-9 have a higher emergency room visit rate than any other age group
- More injuries occur on “climbers” than any other equipment
- At home, swings are responsible for most childrens’ injuries
We rely on our Bucks County playgrounds to be fun and safe, but sometimes that is not the case. Rather than finding this out too late, take a look at the following safety and maintenance tips to gain an idea of what you should not encounter on a playground because it may spell danger:
- Any broken equipment,
- Rusted metal equipment,
- Split or splintering wooden equipment,
- Equipment with bolts, nails, or screws coming out of it,
- Signs of weakening or wobbliness in the equipment,
- If the playground has a sandbox, check to see that there is no broken glass, bugs, or waste from other animals in it.
When you see any equipment or grounds problems where your children play, you should report them to your town, school, or local county department responsible for the upkeep of the playground. Many playground injuries can be avoided, but sometimes accidents do happen. If your child has been injured due to faulty playground equipment, be sure to note in detail how the accident occured, and take photos. Get your child medical attention right away.
If you’d like to discuss a Pennsylvania or New Jersey playground injury case, call the PA & NJ accident lawyers of Cordisco & Saile LLC at 215-642-2335.