Published on Apr 22, 2008 by Edgar Snyder

Over 200,000 Children Injured on Playgrounds

Playground

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), approximately 200,000 children have to go to the emergency room each year to treat injuries sustained on playgrounds. The CPSC has released updated safety guidelines for schools, day cares, and other organizations that design and maintain playgrounds.

The agency's recommendations include the following:

  • Supervise children at all times.
  • Extend protective surfaces 6 feet in all directions around equipment. For swings, it should go twice the height of the set.
  • Never attach ropes, jump ropes, clotheslines, pet leashes or cords of any kind to play equipment due to the strangulation hazard.
  • Repair sharp points or edges on equipment.
  • Use at least 9 inches of protection -- such as shredded rubber, wood chips or mulch -- under equipment.

The most common playground injuries among children were fractures, lacerations, contusions / abrasions, and strains / sprains. Falls were associated with 79 percent of public playground injuries and 81 percent of home playground injuries. From January 1990 to 2000, the CPSC received reports of 147 deaths to children under the age of 15 that involved playground equipment.

Sources:
"200,000 Kids Hurt on Playgrounds, Safety Guidelines Include 9-Inch-Deep Padding." ThePittsburghChannel.com. April 21, 2008.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission National Electronic Surveillance System statistics
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