It may not be something you think about, but playgrounds can be danger zones. That’s why I want to point out a few of those dangers to keeping your child safe on the playground.
More than 200,000 children ages 14 and under, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are treated for playground-related injuries every year in the U.S. Of those, 45 percent are considered severe (breaks, internal injuries, amputations). These injuries occurred on public playgrounds, school playgrounds and at day care facilities. One-hundred fifty children died between 1999 and 2000 from playground accidents, mainly from falls and strangulation.
Tips for a safe playground experience
The following are some tips for parents and others that can help prevent many tragic accidents from occurring at a playground.
- Check for open hooks or protruding bolts.
- Actively supervise your kids.
- Teach your children that pushing, shoving or crowding while on the playground is wrong and can be dangerous.
- Make sure that swing seats are constructed from soft materials rather than a flat board.
- Dress your children appropriately. Remove necklaces, purses, scarves or clothing with drawstrings that can get caught on equipment and pose a strangulation hazard.
- Moving parts on a playground set can pose a pinching hazard. Make sure that your children don’t get trapped by such equipment.
- It’s important to have a separate play area for children under 5 as little kids play differently than big ones.
- Certain materials, such as rubber, metal, or plastic, can become extremely hot in direct sunlight and burn. This is particularly true of slides.
- For babies learning how to walk, the play area should have a smooth and easy surface to walk on.
- Do not allow your children to play barefoot on a playground.
- Avoid playgrounds with non-impact absorbing surfaces, such as asphalt, concrete, grass, dirt or gravel. Recommended surface materials include: sand, pea gravel, wood chips, mulch and shredded rubber. Rubber mats, synthetic turf and other artificial materials are also safe surfaces and require less maintenance.
- Surfacing should be at least 12 inches deep and extend at least 6 feet in all directions around stationary equipment. Depending on the height of the equipment, surfacing may need to extend farther than 6 feet.
- For swings, make sure that the surfacing extends, in the front and back, twice the height of the suspending bar. So, if the top of the swing set is 10 feet high, the surfacing should extend 20 feet.
Hopefully, your children will never experience an injury at a playground, but if he or she should, give me a call and we can discuss whether you have a personal injury claim. All consultations are free.
I would appreciate it if you would share this article so that others can benefit from the information. Thank you.
For other areas of personal injury law, please see my other articles at http://blog.petermillerlaw.com
If you have any questions about this article or any area of personal injury law, please refer to the contact info below.
The Law Offices of Peter Miller
1601 S. Broadway
Little Rock, AR 72206
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