School playgrounds can be dangerous places where children, both young and older, are injured. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), 2,691 incidents associated with playground equipment were reported to the commission between 2001 and the end of 2008. Accidents can result from equipment failures as well as lax supervision by teachers or other staff members.
Of the 2,691 incidents reported, 1,810, or 67 percent were caused by falls or equipment failure. Fifty eight percent of the 2,691 accidents involved swings, slides, climbers or monkey bars. Seventy-three percent of the injuries were minor and did not need hospitalization. It was estimated that 53 percent of the injuries occurred in children between 5 and 9 years old.
Causes of Injuries
Some of the causes of injuries were:
- Falls accounted for 44 percent of injuries
- Equipment failures constituted 23 percent of the causes of injuries
- Collision made up 7 percent of injuries
- Entrapment accounted for another 7 percent of injuries
- Fifteen percent of injuries were attributed to categories “other” or “incidental”
Forty playground deaths were investigated by CPSC staff from 2001 through 2008. The children who died were between 14 months to 21 years old. The causes of death were:
- Hangings and other asphyxiations, which occurred in 27 of the 40 children who died
- Head and neck injuries in seven of the children
- Two deaths were related to falls — one child fell from a jungle gym and another child fell and hit her abdomen when she was climbing down a ladder and lacerated her spleen
- Two children died when swing sets tipped over — both times the fallen set hit the child in the neck or head
Injuries treated in emergency departments, ranging from most to least common, were fractures, contusions and abrasions, lacerations, strains and sprains, internal organ injuries, concussions, dislocations, dental injuries, severe bruises, foreign body, punctures, avulsions (forcible tearing away of a body part), hemorrhages, and crushing injuries. Even poisonings in sand boxes were recorded.
Liability for Playground Accidents and Injuries
These descriptions of injuries and their causes clearly show that equipment failures can seriously harm children. If a teacher is not paying proper attention to a child who finds him or herself in a dangerous situation, that teacher and school can be held responsible for the child’s injury.
Keeping equipment in proper working order is the school’s responsibility. A teacher or other supervisor of children must stay constantly vigilant in preventing and anticipating dangerous situations.
If your child was seriously hurt on the playground, you should seek the services of a Miami personal injury lawyer who can help you be compensated for your child’s injuries and treatment. In addition, you should receive damages for negligence. Ro speak with a qualified lawyer who understands the laws governing premise liability, contact Baron & Herskowitz today.