While a ride down the sliding board and a sky-high flight on the swings may seem like everyday childhood fun, playgrounds many times present hidden dangers. Although these threats to the well-being of children may go unrecognized until it is too late, the damage can render a lifetime of consequences.
If your child has suffered from playground injuries, then contact The Krist Law Firm, P.C. at (281) 283-8500. We are known as Houston serious injury lawyers because we get results when it comes to helping people – including children – who experience pain and suffering through no fault of their own.
Playground Accident Statistics
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger receive treatment each year for playground injuries. Mild, moderate, and severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) account for over 20,000 of these cases. In fact, the surge in TBI cases from 2005 to 2013 reveals disturbing, yet critical, facts that should not be ignored. Most of these playground injuries occur Monday through Friday in the months of April, May, and September with two in three (66 percent) taking place on monkey bars, climbing equipment, and swings at schools and recreational facilities. Moreover, fractures, contusions, and abrasions account for more than half (56 percent) of the playground injuries that emergency departments treat while three in four (75 percent) of these injuries are due to defective equipment.
Other common playground injuries include bruises, dislocations, and internal injuries. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports boys as more likely than girls to sustain playground injuries (55 percent versus 43 percent) with all children ages 5 to 9 at greatest risk. Even more sobering is the fact that seemingly harmless equipment like jump ropes and swings led to 27 deaths by strangulation between 2001 and 2008.
Causes of Playground Injuries
Defective equipment is a leading cause of playground injuries, especially when it is old, deteriorated, and not well maintained. Ongoing use over the years coupled with normal wear and tear can result in loose screws and rusty parts, which is why playground equipment must be regularly examined to ensure excellent working condition.
In addition, the overall design of a playground can lead to injuries. Designers must be considerate where they position equipment since children will run, jump, and no doubt fall when playing. This means designers should strategically place equipment to avoid children hurting themselves on it.
Furthermore, adults must take responsibility for children, who more often than not are unaware of the risks they face on the playground. Not doing so may be considered negligent supervision. Simply put, this means a lack of adequate supervision with “adequate” based on factors like children’s age and the specific threat of a particular playground activity. Negligent supervision means a failure to take all of the steps necessary to remove threats to children’s safety, including by constantly monitoring the environment.
Who Is Responsible for Playground Injuries?
Determining who is to blame for playground injuries requires examining all of the facts. For example, a town or municipality that owns a playground can be held accountable for equipment it has failed to maintain. Likewise, a public school district can be liable for defective equipment on a school playground while a nonprofit that owns a school or church playground can also be held liable.
Playground designers, too, may be held accountable for a poor layout that leads to injuries even as the construction company that brings that design to life may be blamed if it used subpar equipment and/or shoddily erecting that equipment.
Finally, a negligent supervision claim places liability on the adult responsible for supervising children on the playground if those children are subjected to dangers that could have been avoided with careful oversight.
Contact Houston Personal Injury Lawyers for Help
Playgrounds should be where children make some of their fondest memories, but injuries can overshadow what should be a joyous experience. The Krist Law Firm, P.C. knows children should not suffer because of a playground’s defective equipment, poor design, and careless construction, much less because the adult entrusted with their care is negligent. Call us at (281) 283-8500 to schedule a free consultation if your child has sustained playground injuries. We will help you recover compensation to cover your losses.