Attorney for Playground Injuries
Protecting Injured Children & Families Across the Country
There are an estimated 200,000 playground injuries a year, with as many
as 15 children killed annually on the playground. Traumatic injuries to
children on the playground can include severe brain damage, broken bones,
spinal injuries, loss of eyesight, and paralysis.
These injuries can occur at any kind of playground—at school, in
a public park, or anywhere else that equipment is set up for kids to play
on. Maintaining the safety of this equipment is the responsibility of
whoever owns it, even if it is a city or a school district.
As a parent, you want to make sure that every playground that your child
plays on is safe. But there are many subtle dangers, hard to detect unless
you’re an expert or an engineer, that can cause damage to your child.
The National Playground Safety Institute (NPSI) has identified a list of
the “dirty dozen” playground dangers. Most of these are problems
in design, construction, and maintenance, although parental supervision
also plays a role.
The NPSI’s list:
Improper protective surfaces. A playground may look safe and cozy, but the material underneath the
playground equipment may lead to injury when a child lands on it after
jumping off a swing or dropping down from a jungle gym. Concrete is out,
and so is wood or hard- packed dirt, but even the softer landing materials
like shredded rubber, wood chips, and those interlocking rubber mats need
to be at least four inches thick.
Inadequate use zones. Each piece of equipment should be surrounded by six feet of space.
Protrusion and entanglement hazards. Large, unprotected bolts sticking out of playground equipment can literally
poke an eye out, or cause a dangerous cut on a child.
Entrapment in openings. Any opening in playground equipment that a child may be able to crawl
through has to be either too small to do so or large enough that a child’s
head and body can fit through it. Kids get trapped in equipment when their
heads can get through an opening but then their bodies can’t. No
hole in equipment should be between 3.5 and 9 inches across.
Insufficient equipment spacing. This is where the playground equipment is all jammed together, not allowing
enough space for the kids to play in each area. Each use area should be
at least six feet apart, says the NPSI.
Trip hazards. Things that stick up out of the surface can trip a child.
Lack of supervision. Even if the playground is a public one, you are still responsible for
supervising your child. If there is an injury, an attorney will want to
know if you did everything that you reasonably could to watch your child.
Age inappropriate activities. Make sure your child is playing on age- appropriate equipment.
Lack of maintenance. The older the equipment, the more it needs to be maintained.
Sharp edges. Equipment that starts out safe, like a bolt with plastic covering, can
lose its protective covering. There are many other instances of sharp
edges throughout playgrounds.
Platforms with no guardrails. The NPSI recommends two- to- four foot high guardrails around all raised
Using non- recommended playground equipment. The NPSI has lists of equipment that should and should not be employed
in a playground. Obviously, for the most part, parents aren’t in
a position to judge whether or not most of these dangers even exist just
by a casual look around a playground. But the people who build and maintain
the playgrounds are definitely responsible for this knowledge.
If your child has been injured on a playground, only a law firm with experience
handling these cases can make a proper evaluation of your situation.
Have one of our attorneys
review your case at no cost. To get started today by
calling (888) 711-5947.