CDC: Playground Safety
June 21, 2019
Parks and playgrounds are some of the most popular – and fun – locations for family outings in the spring and summertime, but they can also be prime injury spots for kids and teens. Here’s the good news: most playground injuries are actually preventable. Some of the best ways to avoid getting hurt is by becoming educated on what the hazards are, and remembering a few important safety tips the next time you or your loved ones are ready to head to the park.
Playground Injury Facts
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 200,000 children 14-years-old or younger are treated in emergency departments for playground-related injuries every year. One of the most common – and potentially severe – injuries that children and teens sustain at playgrounds is a traumatic brain injury (TBI), though there are others.
The CDC reports that of the 200,000 children treated in emergency departments for playground injuries every year, at least 20,000 are treated for traumatic brain injuries. Almost three-quarters of the injuries related to playground equipment happen on public playgrounds or on school property. More than 40% of playground-related injuries are shockingly severe, such as dislocation, internal injuries, severe fracture, and even amputation.
The CDC says there are certain risk factors for playground-related injuries. Some of the risk factors are:
- Gender: boys sustain playground-related injuries at a slightly (55%) higher rate than girls;
- Age: children between 5 and 9-years-old have the highest injury rate;
- Equipment: on public playgrounds the majority of injuries occur on the monkey bars, and:
- Upkeep and maintenance: well-maintained playgrounds see far fewer injuries than playgrounds equipped with old, rusty, or unmaintained equipment.
Safety Tips To Avoid Injuries At The Playground
Although playground and playground equipment-related deaths are not nearly as common as injuries, they do still happen. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 8 children die from playground-related injuries each year. The National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS) says that 75% of playground injuries require an emergency room visit for children between the ages of 5 and 12. To prevent injuries and hospital visits the organization recommends the following safety tips:
- Always supervise children at play.
- Keep an eye out for – and remove – entanglement hazards (e.g. strings from kid’s clothing) and make sure that all playground equipment is secure at both ends
- Check the temperature of equipment and surfacing materials (equipment can become hot enough to cause burns).
- Let children go down slides by themselves (most fractures are caused when adults hold a child on their lap and go down slides together).
- Ensure that equipment is safe and in good working condition.
- Follow guidelines to make sure that children use age-appropriate equipment.
If you would like to read more on playground safety from the NPPS, please visit this resource.
It is important to remember that playgrounds must be maintained for safety. It is the responsibility of the playground owner (sometimes this is the city, sometimes a private owner, or another entity) to protect against all foreseeable dangers and ensure that the grounds and equipment are safe, routinely inspected, and serviced. Every playground-related injury is preventable, and there is no excuse for carelessly continuing to allow injuries to occur. If you have any questions or concerns about a playground-related accident or injury, contact a representative at our firm who can help.
Philadelphia Premises Liability Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Represent Injured Individuals
If you were injured in an accident caused by dangerous conditions on someone else’s property, please contact the Philadelphia premises liability lawyers at Galfand Berger. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.