Keeping Children Safe on South Florida Playgrounds

Everyone loves to get outside and get a little fresh air.  And many of us like to take our children with us — to the playground.  But playground injuries in Broward are a significant source of emergency room visits among children.

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According to the U.S. Safety Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there are plenty of injury risks on the playground, including burns, strangulation and falls.  Each year, more than 200,000 children go to U.S. hospital emergency rooms with injuries associated with playground equipment. Most injuries occur when a child falls from the equipment onto the ground.  The CPSC estimates that 205,860 children receive emergency department care for injuries that occurred on playground equipment.

Our Boca Raton injury attorneys understand that these kinds of accidents are most likely to happen on public playground equipment.  And most of them involve fall or equipment failure.  About 15 percent of the injuries were classified as severe, with close to 5 percent requiring hospitalization.  It’s important for parents to make sure that faulty equipment, improper surfaces and careless behavior don’t ruin the fun.

There are many ways to prevent these injuries and to lessen the severity of the injuries that do occur.

Before allowing children to run wild at the playground, give the area an inspection, suggests KidsHealth. Look for potential hazards before they find your children.  It’s also a good idea to teach your children how to play safely.  If they know the rules of the playground, they’re less likely to get hurt.  Check to make sure the equipment is anchored safely in the ground, all equipment pieces are in good working order, S-hooks are entirely closed, bolts are not protruding, and there are no exposed footings.  Equipment should be free of rust, splinters, and missing parts.

It’s also important to make sure that you’re providing them with adequate supervision.  If an accident does happen, you can help the child and administer any first-aid needed.

What is the playground on?  You want to make sure that it’s placed on a sturdy surface that is soft enough to cradle a fall without any serious injuries.  If the playground is on top of a blacktop, asphalt or concrete, you might want to find another place to play.  There should also be no standing water or any debris.  Rocks, tree stumps and even roots can serve as serious fall dangers.

Make sure that your child is playing on a playground that is age-appropriate as well.  Typically, playground equipment should be designed for three different age groups: infants and toddlers under 2, 2- to 5-year-olds (preschoolers), and 5- to 12-year-olds (school-age kids).

Before you head out for some big fun, make sure you take a minute to check into the safety of this fun.  Don’t let a day of fun in the sun and swings through the playground wind up into a costly and painful afternoon in the hospital.

If you or someone in your family has been injured, contact the Hollander Law Firm at 888-751-7770 for a free and confidential consultation. There is no fee unless we win.