Playgrounds are sanctuaries for kiddos to engage in physical activities, explore their surroundings, play with friends, and grow. Most parents don’t put a lot of thought into the safety aspect of these playgrounds, as the environment often looks and seems safe. However, with energized children testing their physical limits with all sorts of swings, slides, and jumps, the risk of getting in an accident increases. Additionally, if the playground equipment isn’t up to standard or is in need of maintenance, the risk of accidents is a lot higher.
Some playground equipment pieces aren’t manufactured properly and with the correct safety considerations and so are doomed to fail one day. When that happens, the most likely scenario will lead to someone being injured. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 200,000 kids under the age of 15 visit emergency rooms for playground injuries treatment each year. While some of these injuries truly are accidents, many more are the direct result of defective equipment.
In the following article, we’ll go through the most common injuries to children caused by playground equipment failure and what to do to keep your kids and everyone around safe when going to playgrounds.
Safety Risks Associated with Playground Equipment
There are a lot of safety risks when it comes to children’s playground equipment. The highest risk for kids in a playground is the risk of falling. This could happen while climbing or even from the top of the structure. These falls present a serious risk to children. Additionally, many playground structures hover over 6 feet in height which increases the risk of getting seriously injured.
The most common injuries associated with children falling while playing in a playground include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Cuts to skin
- Soft tissue injuries
Most Dangerous Playground Equipment
Slides are one of the most common games for children in playgrounds. With many slides being manufactured from metal, and with the added heat of the sun shining on a playground on a hot day, metal slides could get very dangerous. Unsuspecting kids wanting to slide down the metal slide might not feel the extreme heat right away, but they can easily develop first or second-degree burns.
Always do a check with your hands to see if a metal slide is too hot to handle before you let your little one play.
Tetherball is a game with a long pole in the middle that has a ball attached to it through a rope. The rope is attached to the top of the pole and the goal of the game is to hit the ball around the pole. While this is a fun game for slightly older children, the hit ball could reach high speeds and slam into a kid before they know it, leaving them with injuries.
Educate your little ones about which games are safe for them and always be around when your young children are at a playground.
While large playground equipment is usually the culprit when it comes to children’s injuries, a much smaller threat exists in the form of screws that are uncovered. Those tiny screws that help keep the equipment sturdy could be dangerous for kids. Not only would an exposed screw cause cuts to a child, but their clothing could also get stuck on them while playing, causing a serious injury.
Make sure to inspect playground equipment for any hazards such as uncovered screws before allowing your children to use it.
S-hooks on Swings
Children’s’ swings are a fun game to play and are considered to be generally safe. However, some swings use metal S-hooks that conjoin the swing to its chains; those s-hooks have a tiny space where the loop is to be closed, posing a threat to children playing around the equipment. Not only could children’s clothing rip off while playing if they get stuck, it could also cause a child to lose balance and fall down, causing serious injuries.
Make sure you personally check any equipment your children are playing around. Check to see if there are any s-hooks on the swings and if they’re tightly closed or not. If you are able to pass a credit card through the clearance, the s-hook is not safe and could cause injuries.
Who Is Liable When a Child Gets Injured on Dangerous Playground Equipment?
Accidents involving playground equipment could get very expensive quickly. Children injured in a playground accident will need top medical care and will eventually incur substantial medical expenses. If your child was involved in a playground accident, you need to explore your legal options for recovering compensation. Determining liability in these cases is no easy task. With numerous variables at play, you need the help of an experienced legal professional.
By working with an expert attorney, you can understand where the liability in the accident falls and be assured that you will be receiving the highest possible compensation for your damages.