According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), each year in the United States more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger receive emergency room treatment for playground injuries. Of these injuries, 45 percent are severe, including fractures, contusions, internal injuries, concussions, dislocations and amputations. About 75 percent of nonfatal playground injuries occur on public playgrounds, most at schools. Between 1990 and 2000, 147 children ages 14 and younger died from playground injuries. When a child is injured on a playground, the parents may be able to file a personal injury claim against any negligent parties. An experienced Atlantic City injury attorney can advise parents of their rights. Rather than thinking about playground injuries after the fact, why not try to prevent them from happening in the first place.
Ways to Protect Your Child
As reported by the CDC, climbing equipment is responsible for more injuries than any other equipment on public playgrounds, while swings cause the most injuries at home. Whether your child is playing at home, at a park or on a school playground, taking these simple steps can reduce your child’s risk of injury:
- Visually inspect the playground for any hazards, such as broken glass, can tops and damaged equipment — report problems to the appropriate officials and do not let your child play on any defective equipment
- Remove tripping hazards such as rocks and branches
- Supervise your child when he or she plays on equipment
- Do not let your child wear a bike helmet while on playground equipment, because the chin strap poses a strangulation risk if it becomes caught on something
- Direct your child to age appropriate equipment
You can also try to find playgrounds with surfacing that is cushiony enough to prevent injuries, such as wood mulch or chips, sand, pea gravel, or synthetic surfaces designed specifically for playgrounds. Additionally, you may want to teach your child the following safety rules:
- No running, pushing, shoving or fighting on or around equipment
- Use equipment as it is intended to be used
- Do not crawl up the slide — always use the ladder
- Do not walk in front of or behind someone when they are swinging
Unfortunately, we cannot protect our children from everything, nor can we be with them every second of every day. If your child sustains a playground injury, seek necessary medical treatment, and then contact a qualified Atlantic City injury lawyer to learn about your family’s legal rights.