Children go to a playground to experience fun, and even the ability to meet new friends. With this fun, comes risks because the excitement can bring out carelessness by the children. Emergency rooms around the nation are swamped with more than 200,000 kids under the age of 14 who were brought in for injuries from playing at a playground. Child care organizations, and schools are the place where these injuries occur the most.
It has been estimated that injuries endured while being at a playground have more of a possibility of being more grave than for someone who is injured in a car accident or a bicycle accident. The reason to this is that children are usually in the midst of doing some gymnastic moves before getting hurt such as, swinging or climbing. This suggests that the children are most likely a few feet off of the ground, which by falling from that height can result in the child being severely injured. Some injuries seen most often are:
- Cut, scrapes, and bruises
- Internal organ injuries
- Head concussions, and other head-related injuries
- Fractured bones or broken bones
- Dislocated shoulder, dislocated ankle, and more
Why Do Children Get Injured in a Playground?
The saying “children will fall, and get hurt” is a known fact, but there are times when the falls could have been prevented had parents/persons in-charge followed and took precautions. Yes, children will fall because that is a part of growing up, but some of those falls can be devastating to a child. Here are some reasons why children might get hurt in a playground:
Poor Design/Maintenance: Most parks have been established for many years, and with that in mind, equipment gets old, and eventually doesn’t function properly. Most parks are exposed to the weather conditions on a daily basis which is an added factor to the deterioration of playground equipment. Not properly maintaining the playground can result in injuries to children that could have otherwise been prevented.
The design of the playground should be well-thought off because children will run, and children will fall. Planning to have surfaces that are cushion-like to help reduce the severity of injuries is something that should take place in all playgrounds. There is no comparison when a child falls on a cushion-like surface than on cement.
Poor Supervision: Children should be regularly supervised when playing in a playground. Most children do not know what they can, or cannot do, and what the consequences of those actions would be. As an adult, supervising the child can reduce their risks to injuries because an adult can yell “no, don’t do that”, or any other phrase to prevent the child from getting harmed. Children are innocent and lack the mental capacity to know what can and cannot harm them at such a young age.
The level of supervision that needs to be given to the child depends on what activities they are doing, and their age. The smaller the child, the more supervision will be required, although older children tend to perform more dangerous activities because it is in their explorative nature.
Who Is Responsible When Children Get Injured in Playgrounds?
Many factors are associated with who takes the responsibility for the child’s injuries:
The Owner of the Playground: With public parks, those in-charge of the parks maintenance would be the city or county. For national parks it is usually the federal government.
With playgrounds at schools, those in-charge are the school district.
With playgrounds at day care or private school, those in-charge would be either a non-profit organization, or a church.
The Builder and Designer of the Playground: The designers and constructors of playgrounds are typically local construction companies, who then hire the designer. If the injury of the child was due to bad design or construction problems of the playground, then any of those parties could be held accountable for the child’s injuries.
There has been a minimum standard imposed on playground safety by many states, also their a requirement in their design.
For more information about children being hurt in a play ground speak with a Miami personal injury attorney.