Whether at school, daycare or the public park, kids love the playground. Unfortunately, there are dangers and risks associated with these fun-filled places. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 200,000 children ages 14 and under are treated for playground-related injuries each year — the majority occurring at schools and daycare centers.
Playground injuries and severity
According to the CDC, the rate of severe injuries on playgrounds is higher than that of bicycle accidents and car accidents. There are a number of reasons for the increased severity of playground injuries. One is that many children are injured while climbing, sliding or swimming, which can result in falls of several feet. Another is playground apparatus like climbing bars or jungle gyms, which usually have hard, protruding points.
Some of the most common playground injuries include:
- Concussions or other types of head injuries
- Fractures, dislocations and broken bones
- Bruises and lacerations
- Internal injuries
Common causes of playground injuries
While playground injuries can be caused by a number of factors, two of the most common are lack of supervision, and poor design or maintenance of equipment.
- Lack of supervision: Particularly for young children, adequate supervision is essential to prevent playground injuries. Young children are typically unable to understand the risks of climbing too high or running too fast unless they’ve experienced an injury resulting from these activities before. They can also be unaware of their own physical limitations. Playground injuries may result from negligent supervision.
- Poor design or maintenance: The material used on playgrounds can decay over the years and become unsafe. Worn ropes, rusted bolts and rotted wood can pose serious safety hazards to children and, in many cases, playground equipment is not updated or replaced for years. Playground design may also contribute to playground injuries in some cases.
Playground injuries and liability
Depending on the nature and cause of the injury, the responsible party may be the owner of the playground or facility, the designer of the equipment or the adult charged with supervision.
School and daycare playgrounds are typically owned and maintained by the school district or non-profit organization (for private schools and church-run daycares). Public park playgrounds are the responsibility of the government entity that maintains the park which may be the town, city, county or federal government in the case of national parks.
Playground injury lawsuits
If your child is injured on a playground, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit and receive compensation for your child’s medical bills and other related concerns. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you decide who is liable in a playground injury case and may be able to help you settle out of court to avoid further stress for your family.
The Miami trial lawyers at Baron & Herskowitz have successfully represented many clients in personal injury cases of all categories, including playground injury lawsuits. Contact us today to discuss the details of your case.