Playground Injuries Can Be Avoided
We all want to keep our children safe while still allowing them to have fun running around playing on playgrounds. However, each year, emergency departments treat more than 150,000 children ages 14 and younger for playground-related injuries. Many of these injuries can be prevented or their severity lessened by close supervision, age-appropriate equipment, and regular equipment maintenance and inspection.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the American Society for Testing and Materials have written playground equipment guidelines and standards. Playground equipment should regularly be inspected to identify any potential hazards of loosening, rust, rot, and deterioration, so that any problems can quickly be corrected.
According to the CDC, about 45% of playground injuries are severe, including fractures (broken bones), contusions/abrasions, lacerations, strains and sprains, concussions, internal injuries, dislocations, and life-threatening strangulations. The majority of injuries result from the use of climbing equipment and swingsets, and the primary cause of injuries is from falls from equipment, although improperly installed equipment or deteriorated equipment also is linked to increased risk of playground injuries.
Over the years, we’ve helped many children who have been injured on playground equipment. One case that comes to mind recently is a case in which a boy was injured after he fell from a piece of equipment that was supposed to be stationary and immobile, but which had deteriorated over time and was unsecured.