According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger are treated for playground-related injuries annually. Almost half of these injuries are a direct result of a fall and lead to internal damage, concussions, TBIs, dislocations, severe-fractures and amputations.
Many factors can cause or contribute to playground injuries, including poorly maintained equipment, sharp edges on rails or equipment, platforms without guardrails and faulty equipment not recommended for playgrounds. The following are three useful tips that can keep your child safe on the playground:
• Check the Playground Surface Before Letting Your Child Play. It is not uncommon for children to fall off of the monkey bars, roll out of slides or slip off of other equipment. Kids may even become too playful and push each other off of equipment. Because of all these risks, the playground surface must be forgiving and provide adequate cushioning in case a child tumbles, rolls, slips, trips or falls. Concrete, hardened earth surfaces and black top increase a child's risk for a playground-related injury. The best playgrounds are those with mulch, sand or pine bark. Look for these surfaces at playgrounds to decrease your child's risk of a serious injury.
• Check Out the Playground Equipment. Inspect the equipment on a playground before letting your child play. If you notice rotten wood splits, rusted swings, questionable or collapsed slides or any broken equipment, it is best to go elsewhere. A slide should never rattle when in use and a swing should not sound like it's "whining." There are plenty of playgrounds throughout the Pasco County area that have new and safe equipment, so always err on the side of caution when in doubt.
• Avoid Certain Equipment. Ropes are unreliable and present choking hazards, so inform your child to steer clear of these on the playground. Some swings, such as those that can hold more than one child at a time, are inherently dangerous. Using these often results in one child falling off. Trampolines, trapeze bars and other tools of a gymnast are highly risky and are not suitable for a playground.
It is the responsibility of whoever owns the equipment on a playground to make sure that it is safe for children to use. This may be a city, county, school district or private owner. If your child has suffered an injury on a playground due to negligent safety factors, a Pasco County Slip, Trip and Fall Injury Attorney at Whittel & Melton can help you determine if you are able to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages from those responsible for the accident. Contact us today online or call 727-847-2299 if you have any questions regarding playground equipment or if you would like to discuss your child's playground injury.