Peter Thompson
Peter Thompson

Playground Injuries

Adults and children alike enjoy visiting playgrounds. They provide opportunities for active outdoor play which is important for children’s health and well-being. Playgrounds are also convenient places for both children and adults to spend time together and with friends. Many children also have access to play equipment at school or day care, and in their own back yards or at their friends’ houses. Unfortunately, playgrounds and backyard play equipment can also be dangerous. Over two hundred thousand children are injured at playgrounds every year, and it is estimated that fifteen children die each year from playground injuries.

What Kinds of Injuries Happen at Playgrounds?

Nearly half of all playground injuries may be categorized as severe. Concussions, fractures, dislocations, and internal injuries are just a few of the ways in which children can be hurt at a playground. While most playground accidents happen at public playgrounds, such as the ones that can be found at schools and day care centers, home playgrounds can be just as dangerous or even more so. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, seventy percent of playground-related deaths occur at home playgrounds. The most common causes of playground fatalities are strangulation and falls.

Most Playground Injuries Occur in One of Two Ways

Playgrounds can be safe, fun places for children to create their own adventures, build strong and agile bodies, and spend time with friends. However, adult supervision is required to ensure that play is safe. While parents, teachers, babysitters, and other adults who are responsible for the children at a playground need not hover over them in anticipation of their every move, it is important that the adults pay attention to what the kids are doing so that they can intervene when there is a safety concern. Despite the perception that playgrounds at schools and day care centers are adequately supervised, more playground accidents happen at those playgrounds than at parks and other types of playgrounds. When children are not properly supervised, they may use playground equipment in unsafe ways or engage in play that is so rough that injury results. There is also an increased incidence of bullying when children are not adequately supervised at playgrounds. Improper supervision at a playground is an act of negligence for which the responsible parties may be held liable in the event that an injury occurs.

Playground equipment and play surfaces can also cause injuries. All playgrounds require routine maintenance to repair the wear and tear which occur with the passage of time and the regular use of the equipment. Playgrounds which are located in low-income areas are more likely to be in disrepair than those in more affluent areas, however, even playgrounds in nice neighborhoods may be improperly or infrequently maintained. Some of the hazards which may be present at a poorly maintained playground include rusty playground equipment, equipment which is falling apart, exposed nails and other hardware, trash, including broken glass and hypodermic needles, and fall surfaces which are inadequately cushioned. If defective playground equipment is accessible to children and someone gets hurt, the person or company who is responsible for maintaining the equipment may be responsible for the injury.

Peter Thompson & Associates: Helping Playground Injury Victims Across Maine

If your child has been injured in a playground accident, the personal injury attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates are here to help you and your family during this difficult time. With offices in Portland, Bangor, and Falmouth, our dedicated team of professionals is easily accessible to clients throughout the state of Maine. Please call us today, at 1 (800) 804-2004 to schedule your free initial consultation.