You’ve done everything to keep your child safe at home, but what risks does he face on playgrounds and in public parks? Find out here.

From the Park to the ER: Common Playground Dangers

unsafe-playground-equipmentPlaygrounds and jungle gyms should be exciting, fun, and safe places for children to play outside. However, every year in the United States, an estimated 200,000 children under the age of 14 are taken to the emergency room after a playground injury, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In fact, swing set and playground injuries are the leading cause of injury to children in elementary school. Seventy-five percent of these accidents occur on public park and school playgrounds.

Injury Risk Factors

The injuries caused by playground equipment vary from minor to severe. However, the number of annual injuries have stayed consistent over the years, as well as the causes of these injuries. For instance:

  • More than 20,000 children are treated for traumatic brain injuries (TBI) every year, two-thirds of which occur on school playground structures.
  • Fractures and lacerations account for approximately 56 percent of severe playground-related injuries.
  • An estimated 75 percent of play structure injuries occur on public playgrounds.
  • Since 2005, the number of emergency room visits for playground-related TBIs has steadily increased.

The following hazards have been identified as contributing factors of playground injuries:

  • Equipment that can pivot or move. Any type of structure or toy large enough to crush a child or squeeze a limb can be dangerous on playgrounds. This type of equipment includes seesaws, merry-go-rounds, and sand diggers. Furthermore, structures that are not well-maintained pose a risk of collapse.
  • Structures with openings between 3.5 and 9 inches in size. Holes or slats, even those low enough that children can touch the ground, can present a risk of strangulation for a trapped child. Furthermore, drawstrings on clothing, ropes, dog leashes, and other noose-like objects can also pose a threat of strangulation as they can become entangled in playground equipment.
  • Hardware that sticks out from a structure. Bolts that extend more than two threads beyond the nut can lead to lacerations, impalements, and entanglements. Sharp points, corners, or edges on any part of the playground are also risks for cuts and punctures.
  • Tripping hazards. Playgrounds that employ ropes, cables, and other flexible entertainment can cause a child serious injury if they run into or trip over such items. In addition, loose boards, debris, or uneven ground can also be treacherous for kids at play who rarely pay attention to their footing.

If your child has been seriously injured on a playground, you should speak to an attorney immediately about your case. Contact Andrew Kim today for a free, confidential consultation to learn more. Before speaking to an insurance company or settling on a claim, call our office today to ensure your future is protected.