The Danger of Playground Injuries
Looking on as your child flies from a swing and hits his head, or falls from monkey bars and breaks her arm, is a frightening moment no parent will ever forget. There is nothing worse for parents than witnessing their children get hurt when they are supposed to be playing around and having fun.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year in the United States “emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger for playground-related injuries. More than 20,000 of these children are treated for a traumatic brain injury (TBI), including concussion.”
There are certain standards that must be met on a playground to ensure the safety of children. When they are not, your child can be vulnerable to grave injuries, and the parties responsible for the conditions that led to an unsafe environment should be held liable. The legal team at Bottlinger Law L.L.C. can take a closer look at the injuries your child suffered to determine whether you may be able to pursue compensation on their behalf. Call us today at (402) 505-8234 for a free consultation regarding your potential case.
Injuries Your Child Can Experience at a Playground
Experts are still trying to figure out what activities are putting kids at risk most, and what type of playground surfaces and equipment would be most conducive to child safety.
The CDC’s compiled research also shows that:
- 45% of playground injuries are severe—fractures, internal injuries, concussions, dislocations, and amputations.
- 75% of nonfatal injuries occur on public playgrounds, with most occurring at schools and daycare centers.
- Between 1990 and 2000, 147 children ages 14 and younger died from playground-related injuries. Of those, 56% died from strangulation and 20% from falls. 70% of these deaths occurred on home playgrounds.
- Between 2001 and 2008, the Consumer Product Safety Commission investigated 40 deaths associated with playground equipment. Of those, 68% died from strangulation and 15% from falls. Most strangulation involved the combination of slides or swings and jump ropes, other ropes, dog leashes, or clothes drawstrings. The average age of children who died was 6 years old.
It’s also important to point out that on public playgrounds, most injuries occurred from using climbers, and on home playgrounds, most injuries happened while using a swing.
Other Common Areas Where Your Child Can Be Injured
When your small child is playing in this big world, it can be easy for them to be injured. According to the nonprofit HealthPartners, the most common injuries and places where they occur include the following:
Falls. They can happen at uncleared pathways, stairs, windows, landings that are elevated, and other areas of a property. This can result in broken bones as well as traumatic injuries to the head, neck, and spine.
Getting struck by an object. Your child could be hit by something like a sports ball or a falling object such as a loose piece of playground equipment. This can result in severe bleeding, breathing problems, broken bones, unconsciousness, and cognitive problems.
Cuts that may be serious and puncture skin. Children can be harmed by sharp pieces of furniture or equipment or by hazardous tools left behind. What can result is severe bleeding, infection, and numbness to various affected body parts.
Stings and bites caused by various insects and animals. Whether it’s a dog bite or insect bite, these incidents can occur anywhere, without warning. This can lead to infection, allergic reactions, intense bleeding and more.
Complications from foreign bodies. Splinters on a child’s hand or another object that they inhale or ingest can lead to various problems in the digestive system. This can happen wherever these objects might be readily available when they shouldn’t be in the first place.
Various burn injuries. A child can be exposed to chemical, electrical, radiation, or more in a variety settings. They can affect the skin and beyond, even causing long-lasting damage in some cases.
Who Is Liable for My Child Getting Injured?
After dealing with your fear and anger as a parent over what happened to your child, you might be wondering who is liable for your child’s injury. If your child’s injuries were caused by the negligence of another party, who will be held liable for their harm will depend on whether the incident took place on public or private property. It will also come down to all parties that didn’t take the proper precautions to keep your child safe. This can include the following parties, but may not be limited to:
- A property owner or manager who failed to warn about or remove hazards from a property.
- A company behind defective playground equipment on a site.
- Teachers, coaches, babysitters, and others entrusted who fail in the duty of care for your child’s safety.
- A pet owner who failed to secure their dog who bit your child.
What Can I Do as a Parent?
You can take a few steps to keep your child safer on the playground and other places that may pose a hazard to your child:
- Check that the playground has an appropriate soft cushioning like sand, wood chips, or mulch.
- Check that there are guardrails, and that they are in working order and will be able to assist in preventing a fall.
- Read the playground signs and make sure the equipment your children are using is suitable for their age.
- Look out for dangers such as rocks, tree stumps, and trash that can trip your child or be a safety hazard if your child does fall.
Your Child’s Safety Is Important to Us
As a parent, the very first step you’ll want to take after your child is injured is to get them the medical care that they need. You’ll also want to document their injuries and evidence from the site where they were injured. Our legal team can guide you through this process of who should be held accountable.
At Bottlinger Law L.L.C., we’re parents ourselves, and we take the safety of children very seriously. No child should ever be injured due to faulty equipment or the negligence of a caretaker. If your child was hurt in a playground accident, please contact us at (402) 505-8234 to figure out if you have a case. Your consultation with our Omaha child injury lawyer is free.
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