Is Your Public Playground a Safe Place to Play?
February 29, 2012
As a parent, taking your child to the playground can be a source of many fun memories. But the experience can quickly take a turn for the worse if an accident happens. It’s estimated that more than 200,000 children each year are severely injured from playground accidents, resulting in trips to hospital emergency rooms. Most injuries associated with playground equipment occur when a child falls from the equipment onto the ground.
Experts say parents need to keep an especially close watch on their kids around the swings and the slide. In many cases, it can happen in the blink of an eye for a child to be seriously injured while trying to have fun.
National statistics show the majority of playground injuries happen when little ones are on the swings, while the bulk of deadly accidents occur on the slide. Keeping a close eye on your child while at the playground does help reduce accidents. But often times, the closer you stay to your son or daughter – regardless of their age – the better.
Take an active-roll in your child’s safety. Clothing, such as drawstrings can get caught in gaps and children can choke as they try to slide down. A quick safety inspection of the playground can make all the difference. Look for sharp edges or equipment with loose hardware; anything that would have to do with a tripping hazard will also help prevent your child from being injured.
Every parent should know the basics. Use this simple checklist to help make sure your local community, school playground or fast food chain play area, is a safe place to play.
- Make sure surfaces around playground equipment have at least 12 inches of wood chips, mulch, sand, or pea gravel, or are mats made of safety-tested rubber or rubber-like materials.
- Check that protective surfacing extends at least 6 feet in all directions from play equipment. For swings, be sure surfacing extends, in back and front, twice the height of the suspending bar.
- Make sure play structures more than 30 inches high are spaced at least 9 feet apart.
- Check for dangerous hardware, like open “S” hooks or protruding bolt ends.
- Make sure spaces that could trap children, such as openings in guardrails or between ladder, measure less than 3.5 inches or more than 9 inches.6. Check for sharp points or edges in equipment.
- Look out for tripping hazards, like exposed concrete footings, tree stumps, and rocks.8. Make sure elevated surfaces, like platforms and ramps, have guardrails to prevent falls.
- Check playgrounds regularly to see that equipment and surfacing are in good condition.
- Carefully supervise children on playgrounds to make sure they’re safe.
CASE DESCRIPTION:$20,000,000: Child Sustains Severe Playground Brain Injury at Fast Food Restaurant
The Plaintiff, Jacob B., age 10, fell from the cross bars of the playground at a national fast food burger chain restaurant and suffered a severe, traumatic brain injury when his head struck the restaurant floor tile. Due to the severity of the fall, Jacob will require 24 hour life time care…read more– “Child sustains severe playground injury“.
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious playground injury, you may wish to consult with a qualified and experienced attorney. We invite you to visit our website at: www.aitkenlaw.com. The attorneys at Aitken * Aitken * Cohn are here to help, “Experience, Compassion, Resources and Results!”