Playgrounds are meant to be fun. A place where a child can exercise and socialize and engage their imagination in a safe and playful environment. The idea of a child being hurt changes that perception. Questions immediately spring to mind. How safe is that park? Is that equipment properly maintained? Is it even safe for that equipment to be there in the first place?
The truth is playground injuries do happen, but knowing which equipment can hold the most potential for harm can help you arm your child with the knowledge of how to stay safer and hopefully injury free while enjoying his or her time in the playground.
According to a recent study a little more than half of all playground injuries occur on public playground equipment while less than 20% were on home playground equipment either in the child’s own home or the home of a friend. 20% of the cases had the location unreported, but if the other two statistics hold up that would be more than 60% of all cases on public playgrounds.
Nearly 70% of the injuries involved children falling off equipment or the equipment itself failing in some way. That is the lion’s share of the safety issues with most playgrounds – improper precautions taken and faulty equipment. Other issues involved hazards around the playground but unrelated to the equipment, collisions with equipment or other children, and entrapments. Of these cases about 15% were listed as ‘severe’ with 3% requiring stays in the hospital.
The top four equipment pieces are not particularly surprising given the injuries related to falling – 40% are climbers and slides, 22% are swings, and overhead ladders or ‘monkey bars’ were a little less than 9%. The most common injuries were fractures, followed by bruises and cuts and sprains. 2% of the cases were concussions.
Of the more than 200,000 cases in the study only 40 resulted in death – a very small percentage, but of those deaths more than half involved asphyxiation or hanging, and 7 were head or neck injuries. The average age of those that died was 6 years old.
These statistics can be sobering ones, but it is important to remember that for the most part, with the proper care, playgrounds can be the safe and fun kids zones they were meant to be. If however, your child has been injured on a playground you may want to consult personal injury lawyer. Contact Conte Associates at 1-877-614-0008. Based in Vaughan and Whitby, Conte & Associates works with clients in Whitby/Oshawa, and in the following cities in Ontario: Oshawa, Ajax, Pickering, Clarington, Newcastle, Courtice, Bowmanville, Newcastle, Port Perry, Belleville, and Peterborough.