There is nothing more exciting than a big swing set, the monkey bars, a high slide or a climbing structure when you are in elementary school. Unfortunately, however, these fun play structures also pose significant injury threats. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year more than 200,000 children are injured in playground related accidents. At The Ernst Law Group, we represent parents and families of children who have suffered brain injuries from playground accidents.
You might assume that public playgrounds pose a higher threat to safety than private playgrounds do, and statistically that is true. 75% of nonfatal injuries occur on public playgrounds and only 25% of nonfatal accidents occur on home playgrounds. However, while the number of playground related fatalities is extremely low (147 children died between 1990 and 2000), 70% of those deaths occurred on home playgrounds rather than public ones.
What these statistics indicate is that parents, teachers and other adults have an obligation to keep an eye on kids playing on playgrounds, regardless of whether it is a private or public play structure.
Brain injuries are some of the most serious playground injuries and can result from a number of playground activities, including:
- Falls from climbing structures
- Falls from ladders
- Being kicked by another child who is on a swing
- Running and losing balance
- Falling into the play structure or support beams
We can make our playgrounds safer for kids and prevent serious childhood brain injuries by:
- Making sure the ground of the play area is soft and flexible. Wood chips, sand or recycled materials are great terrain choices.
- Confirming that the play structure is properly maintained. This is particularly important when it comes to playgrounds on private property. Giving the play structure a quick once over before letting your child play can help to prevent serious accidents and injuries.
- Keeping children in the parts of the playground that are appropriate for their age group. As children grow, they develop the motor skills necessary to enjoy different parts of the play structure. If the child isn’t old enough to climb on different parts of the playground, the likelihood of a serious fall increases, as does the possibility of a brain injury.
If your child has been injured on a playground and suffered a brain injury, you want an attorney who can help you understand how liability might apply on private and public playgrounds. Call us today to talk about how the accident happened, and how to help you get the resources you need to care for a child who has suffered a playground-related brain injury.