Out of every type of personal injury accident, injuries to children are amount the most devastating. As a parent, we want to do all we can to keep out children safe. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that, every year, over 200,000 children are treated in emergency rooms in the US for injuries sustained on a playground. This statistic includes children ages 14 and younger. They also state that playground injuries in children cost about $1.2 billion in 1995. If your child has been hurt on a playground, call an injury lawyer to find out if you are entitled to seek compensation.
There are a number of ways that children can be injured on the playground. The CDC reports that about 45% of playground injuries are severe fractures, internal injuries, concussions, dislocations or amputations. In the ten-year period between 1990 and 2000, 147 children died from injuries sustained from the playground equipment. Of those, 56% died from strangulation and 20% died from a fall off equipment. The statistics also reveal that 75% of nonfatal playground injuries occur on public playgrounds, most of them at a school or day care center. Common injuries can also occur due to the following:
- Ropes or loose cords that can be placed around the child's neck leading to strangulation
- Protruding hardware or hooks that could catch on a child's clothing causing strangulation
- Chipped or rusted paint on metal components
- Missing or damaged equipment such as guardrails or swing components
In some cases playground injuries can be a pure accident, but other situations severe injuries can occur due to poorly maintained playground equipment or lack of supervision. Playgrounds at schools, day care centers and other public places should be properly built and well-maintained. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) lists voluntary standards that should be considered when constructing a playground. They include:
- Protecting the ground underneath the equipment with protective services to absorb the shock if a child falls
- Making sure that there is proper space for children to swing without hitting another child or an object
- Adding guard rails to any platform that is 30 inches or more off of the ground
- Closing any S hook that could potentially trap a child's clothing and lead to strangulation
- Covering any pinch or crush point where a child's finger or body part could get caught
- Make all openings less than 3 1/2" or greater than 9"wide to prevent children getting their head trapped in equipment
- Properly maintain the playground equipment
While these tips are only voluntary guidelines, a playground owner has a care of duty to make sure that equipment is reasonably safe for children to use. If a school, childcare center or other facility neglects this duty and a child is seriously injured or killed as a result, their family may seek compensation for their child's injuries. To find out more about playground liability law, contact a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer. The attorneys at Russman Law can help you get the money that you need for your child's medical bills and other injury related expenses.