Children tend to love going to the park or the playground, and it always seems like a fun time for their parents. They watch the children running and laughing, and they assume that this is a safe and exciting place for them to be.
And it could be very exciting for the kids, but it may not be nearly as safe as you assume. You need to understand the risks that your children may face on a school playground, a local park or any other type of structure.
How many injuries happen every year?
While each year will have its own specific statistics, it has been found that there are an average of roughly 200,000 injuries on playgrounds every year. And this number is determined simply by looking at how many children wound up in the emergency room after being injured. As such, the absolute total number of injuries could be far higher. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re minor. For example, a child may have been injured but the parents may not have realized how serious it was immediately, and they could have taken that child to the pediatrician the next day. That wouldn’t count for the ER statistics, but it’s a serious injury nonetheless.
There are also tragic fatalities on playgrounds every year. These are much less common, but about 15 children pass away in these accidents.
How do these accidents happen?
As you may have guessed, falls are the biggest culprit. Not only do they make up about 79% of all injuries, but they account for about 90% of the injuries that qualify as being “severe.” The majority of fatal accidents, however, happen due to strangulation.
What caused the injury?
There are those who will say that getting injured is just part of being a child and that playing on the playground involves accepting an inherent amount of risk. But this may not always be the case.
For example, schools generally have teachers who are on duty to watch the children. Was the school negligent, ignoring your children while they played? These schools are also supposed to have proper equipment that is up to code. Did a school – or a governing body that controls a park – act negligently by not updating dangerous equipment and allowing children to continue using it?
There are a lot of questions to ask, but parents who find themselves facing high medical bills for their injured children need to know exactly what legal options they have.