Playground Accidents and Injuries
West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County & South Florida
Has Your Child Been Injured at a Florida Playground or Recreational Facility?
The National Playground Safety Institute says every year more than 200,000 children are treated in emergency departments because of injuries that took place on playgrounds. About 45% of playground-related injuries are severe - fractures (broken bones), internal injuries, concussions (head and brain injuries), dislocations, and amputations. About 75% of the nonfatal injuries related to playground equipment occur on public playgrounds -- most occur at schools and daycare centers.
Common Causes of Playground Accidents
- Lack of Adequate Supervision - Accidents can happen in just seconds and children require strict supervision from parents, teachers and daycare workers when playing on a playground. Negligent supervision or a total lack of supervision puts all children in the recreational area at risk. The National Playground Safety Institute states that the lack of or improper supervision is associated with approximately 45 percent of playground-related injuries and a recent study found that children play without adult supervision most often on school playgrounds (32 percent), followed by park playgrounds (22 percent) and lastly childcare centers (5 percent).
- Poorly Maintained Equipment - Regular maintenance of playground equipment is essential in preventing playground accidents. The playground should be secure, with all the screws right, no missing or broken equipment (slides, swings) and the surface thick enough.
- Defective Playground Equipment - While new playgrounds have evolved in design and materials to keep children safe, manufacture defects still occur. These defects can include lack of a safety mat, unsafe or lack of padding under the equipment, missing screws or nuts to hold equipment together, swing set defects, ladder defects, etc.
Common Playground Injuries
Parents should not assume that playgrounds are safe and suitable for their children. There can be and often are hidden dangers. Many playgrounds are not tested, inspected, maintained or supervised. While many playground injuries are fortunately minor, some can have long-term, permanent consequences and even cause death.
- Bruises and black eyes
- Cuts and scrapes
- Fractures and broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head injuries due to falls to the surface or on the equipment
- Strangulation, asphyxiation or hanging resulting from entanglement and entrapment of clothing, strings, ropes and other playground equipment
Playground Safety Standards
Some states have passed laws for playground safety; be sure to check with your state or local parks and recreation department to find out about laws in your area. For those states without specific mandates, Kaboom! says there are three important sets of guidelines and standards that ensure that your playground is safe for children. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has a set of standards that are updated every couple of years. The CPSC also issues product recalls and warnings on their website. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), which works to standardize the quality of materials used in manufacturing, has also issued a set of standards (ASTM F1487-95) for playgrounds. Finally, there is a standard for accessibility that comes from the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) that ensures that children of all abilities can have the opportunity to play
The National Program for Playground Safety created S.A.F.E. to help communities across the nation examine the critical issues surrounding playground safety and playground equipment use. There are four contributing factors to properly maintain a safe playground atmosphere.
- Provide proper supervision of children on playgrounds. Parents should be able to easily see their children at all times and should actually do so. Parents should survey the area and equipment for hazards prior to play.
- Design age-appropriate playgrounds. Optimally, a playground should include separate area for kids 2 through 5 and 5 though 12.
- Provide proper fall surfacing under and around playgrounds. Acceptable surfaces include sand, pea gravel, mulch, engineered wood fiber, synthetic rubber mats and poured-in-place rubberized surfaces.
- Properly maintain playground equipment. Make sure equipment is anchored safety; and is free of broken part, noticeable gaps, sharp edges, holes, dysfunctional equipment parts, etc.
If your child was seriously injured or died at a school playground, daycare center playground, public playground, city, county or state playground, a residence, a restaurant, an amusement park or water park, and would like to learn more about your legal rights, please call our playground accident attorneys at 561-366-9099 or 877-645-2974 or contact us here.