More than 200,000 children are injured on playgrounds around the United States each year severely enough to send them to the emergency room. While more than half of these injuries are relatively minor (cuts, bruises, scrapes), a significant number of playground inuries are more serious, requiring hospitalization and lengthy treatment. What's more, 147 children died on playgrounds between 1990 and 2000, according to the Center for Disease Control. Those can be scary statistics for any parent or caregiver. Fortunately, there are several easy things that you can do to help keep your child safe while he or she enjoys the playground.
1. Instruct your child to only play on age-appropriate equipment. Many injuries happen because a child is too young or too small for the playground equipment. Visit the playground with your child the first time and before the school year starts to make sure that he or she knows which parts of the playground are suitable for him or her. For community playgrounds, make sure that your child is supervised without distractions from food, pets or cell phones.
2. Make sure the weather is suitable for the playground. Extremely hot weather can cause the playground equipment to get super heated, potentially causing burns. Rainy weather can lead to slips and falls as well as the chance of lightning hitting tall equipment. Make sure to keep an eye on the weather and keep your children indoors when it makes sense.
3. Dress your kids appropriately. Another leading cause of playground injuries is a child getting his or her clothes entangled in the equipment. Make sure to dress your kids in clothes that follow the lines of their bodies when they are heading to the playground and avoid loose, flowing garments.
4. Say no to unsafe playgrounds. Keep your kids away from playgrounds that aren't designed with child safety in mind. That includes those playgrounds with asphalt or concrete surfaces, those with standing water and debris that kids can trip on, and those with playground equipment that tower more than 12 feet in the air.
If, despite your best efforts, your child or one you care about has been injured on the playground, you owe to the child and your family to seek the advice of a skilled personal injury lawyer from firm like The Walker Firm. The consequences are too great to try to represent yourself against the school or playground owner's insurance company by yourself.