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How Safe is Your Local Playground?

Apr 21st, 2021

April 26 to 30 is National Playground Safety Week, a great time to think about what you can do to keep your children safe while still letting them enjoy the slide and swings.

Children thrive when they get plenty of fresh air and exercise, and your local playground offers one of the best ways to get both. According to the CDC, though, more than 200,000 children are injured at playgrounds every year. Of that number, a full ten percent involve traumatic brain injuries, including concussions.

How can you make sure your child is protected, and what should you do in the unfortunate event they do suffer an injury?

Best Practices for Playground Safety

You should consider these important factors when taking your child to the playground.

  • Equipment: A safe playground begins with the equipment itself. Does that equipment meet safety standards? Was it installed properly? Is it regularly maintained?
  • Environment: You should also consider the environment. What kind of surface is the playground built on? Loose-fill, for instance—pea gravel, sand, wood products, and crumb rubber—is far safer than asphalt or concrete. What kind of sun exposure does the playground get? Are there shaded areas nearby? Do kids have access to water?
  • Supervision: Even the safest playground equipment can cause injuries if it isn’t used properly. Make careful choices about which equipment is age-appropriate for your child, and follow any posted guidelines. And make sure you or another qualified adult is constantly supervising your child’s play.

The National Program for Playground Safety publishes a complete guide to rating your favorite local spot. In addition, they offer a training program for playground inspectors.

When Accidents Happen

Kids fall down and scrape their knees. It’s a fact of life. If your child should suffer a more serious injury at the playground, though, it’s important you know your rights. Here again, you should consider the same topics from above.

  • Equipment: What role did the design and manufacture of the playground have in your child’s accident? Could the playground owner be at fault for what happened? Was the equipment properly maintained?
  • Environment: Was the mulch of adequate depth, or were sunshades in good repair?
  • Supervision: If you placed your child under someone else’s supervision—a teacher, a nanny, a playground monitor—were they doing their job?

If your child suffered a serious injury on a playground, especially if it led to professional medical treatment, take the time to consult a personal injury attorney and find out what rights you may have to compensation.

For more information, call the law firm of Ogborn Mihm, LLP at 303-592-5900, or submit a contact form here.