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The Numbers on Playground Injuries

If you have ever had your heart in your throat watching children nimbly skip from rung to rung on the monkey bars or squeal excitedly as they go 360 on the swing, then you will not be surprised to hear that in excess of 600,000 children in the US sustained playground injuries in 2012. More than a third fell from monkey bars and 151,000 sustained injuries from using the swing. Other playground equipment that have not been just a source of fun were seesaws (10,000 injured), slides (125,000) and others (56,000).

Ensuring the safety of children in playgrounds can be challenging. The use of protective padding on playground equipment and shock-absorbing ground covering (such as rubber mats) can greatly reduce the severity of the injuries children sustain in case of a fall. Climbing equipment is the site of more than half of all public playground injuries. It is also recommended that children play in age-appropriate (both type and height-wise) playgrounds as much as possible, and small children should be constantly supervised.

Most playground injuries occur in public playgrounds (75%) although most playground-related fatalities occur in home playgrounds, with about 57% due to strangulation. The Consumer Product Safety Commission state that children get strangled when the drawstrings of jackets or sweatshirts get caught in equipment.

It is extremely upsetting to think that a place of joy for children like a playground can also be a place of danger. There are laws in Michigan that addresses playground safety in childcare centers but nothing substitutes for appropriate adult supervision for young children. According to the website of Ravid & Associates, P.C., in Detroit, schools and childcare facilities have the responsibility to ensure that this is available when children are let loose in public playgrounds.

If your child sustained playground injuries due to negligence, you may have an actionable case. Consult with a child injury lawyer to know your legal standing and options for litigation.