Playgrounds and kids just go together. Kids are drawn to the fun and freedom of the playground and the opportunity to run around and act like kids. When – instead of having fun on the playground – your child is injured, it can be especially traumatic. In fact, there are several injuries that are common to playground accidents.
Playgrounds are built for children, and thus, should be safe for children. This means that playgrounds should be well-designed and well-constructed, well supervised (in the case of school playgrounds), and adequately and routinely maintained. There are several factors related to such maintenance that play important roles in keeping playgrounds safe for children:
- Maintaining the equipment in good working order;
- Ensuring that the equipment has no sharp, jagged, or broken edges;
- Ensuring that the equipment has no loose or missing parts;
- Ensuring that the equipment has no dangerous, slippery, or excessively hot surfaces; and
- Maintaining safe, clean, and uncluttered grounds.
Proper maintenance of playgrounds is critical to keeping them safe for children to enjoy.
If your child has been injured in a playground accident, you’re likely overwhelmed and may not know where to turn for help. After seeking immediate medical attention for your child, consult with a playground accident attorney. The legal team at the Law Firm of Abels & Annes understands how emotionally difficult these claims can be, and we’re here to help guide your case toward just resolution.
Playgrounds allow your children the opportunity to run, jump, frolic – and be children. Unfortunately, however, accidents do happen, and there are four injuries that are most commonly associated with such accidents:
- Fractures – Serious fractures and sprains are common to playground accidents. Playground equipment allows children to climb up off the ground, but it also provides plenty of opportunities to fall from these heights. When you add in moving parts, such as swings and equipment that spins, the danger increases. Children – being children – avail themselves of every opportunity to recklessly throw themselves into their play, so fractures happen.
- Concussions – Concussions are mild forms of traumatic brain injuries, which are caused by either a force or blow to the head or by a violent shaking of the head. Like fractures, concussions can be caused by falling from one of the many elevated surfaces found on playgrounds.
- Internal Injuries – Internal injuries can be especially terrifying because they can be asymptomatic and can go unnoticed until they become more serious and more difficult to treat. If your child has taken a significant tumble or fall on a playground, it’s always a good idea to seek medical attention to ensure that there are no internal injuries involved.
- Injuries that Require Amputations – Playground equipment is often rife with moving parts, nooks, crannies, and gaps. As such children – in their excitement – are prone to getting their arms and legs caught and squeezed in the traps these spaces can create. Such accidents can necessitate amputations or result in other serious physical injuries.
Playgrounds allow your children to get out and there and be children, but they aren’t without their own inherent dangers. And when such playgrounds aren’t safely designed, constructed, maintained, and monitored, they are more dangerous still.
Playground Accident Statistics
As noted, playground accidents happen, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shares some sobering statistics related to such accidents:
- More than 200,000 children (14 years old and younger) are treated in emergency rooms each year for injuries sustained on playgrounds.
- Approximately 45 percent of these playground-related injuries are categorized as severe fractures, dislocations, internal injuries, concussions, and amputations.
- Most nonfatal playground-related injuries occur on public playgrounds, including school and daycare playgrounds.
- Most playground fatalities – 70 percent – happen on home playgrounds and are related to strangulation (56 percent) and falls to the ground (20 percent).
While every playground has inherent risk factors, the CDC assesses those risk factors that are most commonly associated with playground accidents:
- Climbing equipment causes more injuries than any other equipment found on public playgrounds.
- Swings are most closely associated with injuries on home playgrounds.
- Girls sustain about 10 percent more injuries on playgrounds than boys do.
- Children between the ages of 5 and 9 are most likely to sustain playground injuries that necessitate emergency treatment, and most such injuries occur on school playgrounds.
While there’s no way to guarantee that your child will remain safe on a playground, the Nationwide Children’s Hospital offers some safety tips related to recognizing those playgrounds that are and aren’t safe for your children to play on:
- Playgrounds should have soft landing surfaces, including such materials as wood chips, sand, or rubber surfacing. Avoid playgrounds that incorporate concrete, blacktop, or grass as landing surfaces.
- Spaces and gaps built into the playground equipment should be smaller than 3.5 inches or larger than 9 inches – spaces and gaps that fall outside these parameters can lead to dangerous accidents.
- All platforms, ramps, and stairs should be equipped with handrails, guardrails, or another kind of barrier.
- Anything on the playground that could be considered a tripping hazard should be dealt with appropriately. Playgrounds that are riddled with tree roots, rocks, and broken or uneven surfaces are not safe for children’s play.
When you think about playgrounds, you probably think about your children having hours of fun and not about what dangers may lurk there. If your child’s been injured in a playground accident caused by faulty design or construction, negligent maintenance, or inadequate supervision, you know how traumatic that is. You are not alone, however; a playground accident attorney can understand what you’re going through and help navigate your claim toward the compensation to which you are entitled.
If Your Child’s Suffered a Playground Injury, Call a Chicago Playground Accident Attorney Today
Playground accidents are harrowing, but the legal team at the Law Firm of Abels & Annes is here to help guide your claim toward its best possible resolution. If your child was injured in a playground accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, please don’t hesitate to contact or call our office at 312-924-7575 for a free consultation today.