A new study has uncovered a seemingly conflicting trend: while playgrounds are getting safer, emergency room visits for traumatic brain injuries (TBI) at playgrounds have significantly increased in recent years.
The study found that over 21,000 children ages 14 and younger were treated for TBIs annually for 12 years. The majority of those injuries were associated with monkey bars, playground gyms, and swings. More than half of the kids injured were between the ages of 5 and 9.
While experts believe that some of the surge in the injury rate can be attributed to an increase in TBI diagnoses, some of it may be due to a rise in playground activity.
So what can parents and caregivers do to help prevent playground injuries? There’s no foolproof solution, but there are a few easy things you can do to reduce the risk of your child being hurt. Keep reading to find out what they are.
This is important, especially if you have children of different ages. While younger kids frequently want to imitate their older siblings, oftentimes this isn’t safe. Conversely, an older child playing amongst younger ones can create a safety hazard. You should do your best to keep your kids on age-appropriate play equipment.
This seems obvious for younger children and infants, but it also applies to older children. While younger kids might not know their limits or have the motor skills to keep themselves safe, older kids like to test their limits and may put themselves in harm’s way.
Make sure you can see your child on all play structures, and ensure that older kids aren’t interfering with younger kids’ play.
Over the years, playgrounds have evolved from concrete play yards to highly engineered spaces designed with safety in mind. One of the biggest areas of improvement has been in surfaces, which are now better able to prevent serious injury in the event of a fall.
Here’s what you should look for when it comes to playground surfaces:
Keep in mind that even proper surfacing can’t prevent all injuries, especially when kids are playing on high equipment.
At first glance everything at the playground might look fine with no visible rust, damage, or wear and tear. However, there are certain design guidelines that must be met to ensure kids’ safety:
It’s not just parents who play a part in playground safety. The kids themselves can help reduce injuries. Here are some general rules your child can follow that will help keep everyone safe.
Even the most safety-conscious parent can’t prevent every accident from happening. This is especially true in the case of defective playground equipment. Poor maintenance, faulty design, and improper installation are just some of the issues that can lead to serious playground injuries.
If your child was injured at a playground and you have legal questions, feel free to get in touch with us 24/7.