Playground Safety – Negligence on The Playground
It is inevitable for children to suffer injuries, ranging from bruises to scraped elbows. Children are naturally curious and will sustain some minor injuries as they grow and explore their environment. However, injuries do not always occur due to innocent child play. Injuries on a playground may indeed be a consequence of negligence, and entirely preventable.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 200,000 children aged 14 years and below receive treatment in emergency rooms annually for injuries sustained on the playground. Many playground injuries can be serious and even pose a risk to life.
Common playground-related injuries include:
- Bruises, cuts, scratches
- Concussions and other types of head injuries
- Fractured bones
- Internal injuries
What are the Reasons for Playground Injuries?
Accidents in the playground may occur for various reasons, such as:
Dilapidated or Defective Playground Equipment
In some schools, the equipment in the playground can be several years or sometimes even several decades old. Continuous wear and tear can cause the equipment to degrade to the point of becoming dangerous. Children might be playing on equipment with rotting wood, rust build-up, frail ropes, and other problems. At times, brand new equipment can also be dangerous due to a defective design.
It is vital to supervise children closely when they are on the playground. This comes instinctively to most parents. Unfortunately, sometimes those we entrust our children are not as vigilant and do not prioritize their care.
Children can experience slip, fall, and trip accidents on the playground if they are playing on surfaces with cracks or those that are uneven in some areas.
Playground Injuries: Negligence
In case your child sustains severe injuries on the playground, you may be entitled to damages. It could be a case involving a legal theory known as “premises liability” if the property owner (the school or daycare center in this case) is responsible for the injury. Property owners are duty-bound to use reasonable care in ensuring that their premises are safe.
If they fail to uphold this responsibility, and it causes children to be injured, they must be held liable. The manufacturer, designer, or distributor may be held responsible if the injury occurs due to defective or faulty playground equipment, which would fall under the purview of a legal theory called “product liability.”
Potentially responsible parties for an injury might include the following:
The property owner may be held responsible if a child is hurt due to a hazardous condition on a playground. This argument is based on the legal concept that landowners have a duty to maintain their premises in a safe condition.
If your kid sustains an injury on a playground at school, the school may be held responsible for the inability to maintain a safe playground, failure to provide proper supervision, and more.
In case the playground design or a manufacturing defect (such as a swing that falls apart while being used) leads to an injury, the playground manufacturer may be held responsible.
Suggestions for Keeping Children Safe on the Playground
When it comes to children, it is not possible to prevent all injuries. However, various things can be undertaken to reduce the possibility of injuries. Some suggestions to keep the little ones safe on the playground are as follows:
Ensure your child’s clothing is safe
Clothing items, such as scarves or clothes with loose elements (such as drawstrings), can get caught on playground equipment, leading to catastrophic injuries, including strangulation.
Discuss safe play with your child
While running is good for children, remind your children to be careful and that if they trip, they can be severely hurt. On top of this, discuss the safest way to use playground equipment with your child.
Provide appropriate supervision
The lack of supervision can be hazardous on the playground, particularly for kids aged four and below.
Avoid overly crowded playgrounds
Associating with other children helps a kid learn the value of sharing, develop social skills, work in a team setting, and more. However, an overly crowded playground can be dangerous.
Consult a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney
Has the recklessness or negligence of another party caused an injury to your child on a playground? If yes, then it is vital to know your rights and legal options. The skilled attorneys at the law offices of Buck, Toscano, & Tereskerz are here to help.
Our lawyers will work closely with you, harnessing their investigative abilities and resources to build a strong personal injury case. For an in-depth consultation, call us today at (434) 977-7977.