Remember the playgrounds we played on? Compared to the plastic and foamy playgrounds our kids play on today, the schoolyards of yesterday probably seem like death traps.
We ran around rusty metal poles. Climbed ragged wooden structures full of sharp corners and the promise of splinters. We weren’t falling on foam or rubber, either. One visit to a public park shows how far we’ve come in terms of providing safe areas for our kids.
Even the most modern, safety-minded playgrounds are not full-proof, however. Playground injuries still happen, and they can be just as devastating as the ones you might remember.
The Statistics: Playground Injuries and Deaths
The number of injuries and deaths caused by playground equipment is heartbreaking. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 200,000 kids go to the emergency room every year for playground-related injuries.
Over half of those injuries are fractures, contusions, or abrasions. Even worse, despite the efforts to make playgrounds safer, the rate of emergency room visits has actually increased in the past decade.
One of the scariest things about playground injuries is the impact it can have on your child’s brain. Over 1 in 10 children who head to the ER for a playground injury sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBIs include concussions, which can have a lasting impact on your child’s ability to play sports or engage in active behavior for the rest of their life.
Thankfully, death from playground injuries is not common. That being said, it does happen. About 15 children every year die from playground-related injuries.
What Causes Playground Injuries to Occur?
Playgrounds include a lot of equipment that could potentially lead to your kids getting injured. Certain things are more dangerous than others, but in large part the amount of danger is very closely related to how old the child is.
Slides cause a high rate of injuries among children under the age of 4, for example, but monkey bars and climbing equipment cause a high rate of injuries among children between the ages of 5 and 14. Swings consistently cause injuries among all age groups.
Strangulation (from swing chains or getting caught in equipment while wearing a drawstring jacket) and falls (high falls onto hard surfaces) top the list for causes of playground-related deaths.
It’s also important to note that most traumatic brain injuries happen when kids are playing on playgrounds at school. Teachers and aides do their best to keep kids safe during recess, but they can’t keep their eyes on every single student at all times.
What Can You Do to Prevent Playground Injuries?
You can’t be there to watch your kids like a hawk every time they step on a playground, but there are things that you can do to help prevent injuries at a school or public playground:
Dress your children in clothing without loose strings and avoid necklaces or long scarves that could get tangled or caught in playground equipment.
Talk to your children about playground safety. Your child should know to walk, not run, and that pushing and shoving other children is extremely dangerous and can cause serious injuries.
Visit your child’s school playground to make sure the equipment is safe. If you see rusty metal bars, broken equipment, or other safety hazards, talk to your child’s teacher or the school principal. Schools have a responsibility to keep their students safe.
What if the worst happens and your child does suffer injury? Medical bills can get expensive fast, so it is important to remember that if your child’s playground injury was due to negligence, you may be able to file a lawsuit for the damages and losses incurred. Contact a Florida personal injury lawyer to discuss your case and your legal options.
About the Author:
Steven Slootsky is a 1985 graduate of Nova Law School, which means he’s been a practicing Fort Lauderdale injury lawyer for more than 2 decades. He founded the Law Offices of The Injury Law Firm of South Florida in 1991. The Fort Lauderdale-based accident attorney is a member of the Florida Bar, as well as the Federal Bar for the Southern District for the U.S. District Court. During his career as a personal injury lawyer/auto accident compensation attorney, Steven has served as the co-chair of the Workers’ Compensation section for Broward County, Florida. He is also a Bronze member of the Florida Workers Advocates, a former member of the board, and serves as an “Eagle” member of the Florida Academy of Trial Lawyers.
Car accidents can result in tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars in medical bills, lost wages, and car repairs. How is it decided who will have to pay for these damages and bills? In Florida, it usually starts with personal injury protection (PIP). If you experience damages that add up to less than [..]
For many people, the last night of the year is the most fun. You dress up, get together with all of your friends, have some booze, hit the clubs, and ring in the new year. What happens when your New Year’s Eve isn’t so fun, though? We’re not just talking about hangovers. Sticky floors, spilled [..]
No matter what type of sendoff you choose to give a deceased loved one, you want it to be respectful of them. This why many people turn to funeral homes – in the hope that they will show their loved one the care and dignity they deserve on their journey to their final resting place. [..]
You’ve probably heard the old superstition, “What you do at New Year’s is what you’ll be doing all year.” Well, a recent study by SmartAsset (a financial website) finds Florida drivers rank among the worst. Factors contributing to the rank included insured driver statistics, DUI data, and average fatalities per miles driven. SafeAuto.com also reported [..]
No one wants to spend the holidays in the emergency room, but every year about 500,000 US families are forced to do just that because of child injuries. Unfortunately, child accidents become much more common over the holidays, putting a damper on the season for Florida families, and potentially leading to serious – or even [..]
Electrical mishaps with Christmas decorations are a common theme of classic Christmas comedies. However, in real life, electrical hazards are nothing to laugh about. Electrical fires, such as those resulting from faulty holiday decorations, cause about 25% of all house fires. Moreover, Christmas tree fires are a leading cause of house fires around the [..]
Although parking lot crashes are rarely high-speed, they do happen – a lot of them. Moreover, parking lot accidents often result in expensive repair bills and insurance increases. A parking lot crash can also cause serious or even fatal injuries, especially if pedestrians are involved. Below we’re going to break down how parking lot auto [..]
Consumer products regulations ensure that most products on the market are safe for their intended use. However, some consumer products companies push the boundaries of regulations or cut corners in the design or manufacturing process, which can lead to dangerous defective products reaching US consumers. When consumers are injured by a defective product, it may [..]
Medical malpractice is a type of professional negligence, and it can take many different forms. For example, it may be based on a negligent action that the doctor took, or conversely, on something the doctor failed to do. However, in order to successfully hold a doctor liable for medical malpractice, you must be able [..]
Florida policyholders purchase insurance and pay premiums with the understanding that – should disaster strike – their insurer will pay out damages to compensate for losses covered in the policy. That’s the whole point of insurance! Paying out covered damages is considered to be acting in good faith on the part of the insurance company. [..]
Bars and advertisements for alcoholic products often encourage people to “drink responsibly,” but in some cases, the establishments or bartenders serving these drinks may be at least partially liable for a patron’s alcohol-related injury or death. Under certain circumstances, bars can—and should—be held responsible for over-serving patrons. Many states have “dram shop” laws (named [..]
The death of a loved one is traumatic and devastating experience— regardless of the cause. However, the ordeal can be especially upsetting if the death could have been avoided had it not been for the negligent actions of another. In Florida, surviving family members and loved ones may be able to recover compensation for [..]
Summertime is quickly approaching, which means barbecues, family vacations, and a lot of days sitting by the pool. While you and your loved ones enjoy the hot summer weather and cool water, it is important to keep yourself safe. In this post we will be focusing on swimming pool injuries and how to prevent them. [..]
Right now, all Florida drivers are required to have car insurance coverage that pays personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, but that may come to an end in 2019 if some lawmakers get their way. Florida currently operates under a “no-fault” system when it comes to paying insurance claims after a car accident. If a [..]
When you become a parent, every little decision regarding your child’s safety and development can become a hot debate. We’re not going to tell you how to raise your child, but we do have one piece of advice backed up with statistics from the AAP and NHTSA. When you are driving with your child, [..]
It’s not every day that you get into an accident and need to file a personal injury protection (PIP) suit. This type of litigation may be confusing to many, especially since PIP laws are constantly being debated and changed in Florida. However, it is possible for you to get through this process and receive [..]
What are your chances of getting hit by someone driving a rental car in Florida? Every year, the state of Florida has 15 million active drivers on its many roads and highways. About 250,000 drivers end up in car crashes annually in Florida. Since almost 85 million visitors come to enjoy Florida every year, [..]
School is out, but that doesn’t mean your child has to be stuck at home for the summer with no structure and nothing to do. Summer camps are a great way to keep your child active, supervised, and having fun – while also allowing them to branch out. However, summer camps come with a lot [..]
Image: http://pixabay.com/en/dog-man-attacking-canine-training-78117/ When Pets Attack, They Can Cause Serious or Even Fatal Injuries Most people like dogs. How can you resist those adoring eyes, the wagging tail, and the warm, fuzzy head that seems to appear in your lap just when you’re feeling your lowest? So many Americans like dogs, in fact, that [..]
The recent death of a Tampa couple is an example of what might have been a potential product liability lawsuit had they lived. On Thanksgiving Day, Kevin and Michelle Livingston were traveling home from a visit to south Florida. Reports indicate that their sport utility vehicle drove into the waters of a canal along [..]
This law firm helped me with my car accident case and helped me to get the most of the medical benefits that were needed after the accident, and gave me fair and helpful expectations on what I would recieve back for the pain and suffering after the accident.