Injury on a South Carolina Playground - Contact Peake & Fowler

Safety Issues Are Causing These Common Playground Injuries in South Carolina

When we take our children to a public park or drop them off at school, we expect them to be safe. Unfortunately, not all facilities can guarantee that your child will come away free from harm. In fact, playground injuries are on the rise and recreation safety has become a hot-button issue over the past few years.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 200,000 children under the age of 15 receive treatment in this country’s emergency rooms annually for playground-related injuries. Between 2001 and 2008, there were more than 40 deaths associated with playground equipment, with the average age of children in these cases being six years old. Of the children who lost their lives, 68% were due to strangulation, and 15% died from falls.

The Most Common Playground Injuries

When a child is injured on a playground, the injuries can range from the mild to the severe. A recent study found that there is a serious risk of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in children from playground accidents and that the risk has increased. Between 2001 and 2013, the risk of a TBI in playground accidents went from 23 per 100,000 to 48 per 100,000 children. These concussion injuries are most often caused by falls from monkey bars (34%) and swings (24%).

One possibility for the spike in numbers is the heightened awareness about TBIs among parents and school administrators. This concern isn’t without merit. While many children with a minor TBI are treated at the emergency room or a physician’s office and released, there could be long-term effects from the injury. Even a mild TBI could have lasting consequences for a child’s physical, behavioral, and cognitive health.

Other common playground injuries include:

  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Contusions and abrasions
  • Lacerations
  • Sprains and strains
  • Internal organ injuries

Children ages 5-9 are the most likely to be injured on a playground, followed by their younger counterparts ages 0-4. Boys are slightly more likely than girls to be injured on playgrounds in all age classes.

What Causes These Dangerous Playground Injuries?

Most (75%) playground injuries and deaths occur on public playgrounds, which could be one that is located in a park or at a public school. The overriding cause of playground injuries is the lack of supervision, which accounts for 40% of all cases. Even in schools, it is estimated that children are left unsupervised on playgrounds more than one-third of the time and over one-fifth of the time in public parks.

When children fall from a height off playground equipment, one factor that contributes to injuries is the absence of an impact-absorbing surface. Only about 25% of all public playgrounds have the proper surfacing around stationary objects to absorb the impacts of falls.

Who is Liable for Playground Injuries?

If your child has been injured in a playground injury, there are several parties that could be held responsible. If the playground is at a public school or park, the city or municipality that is tasked with the playground’s maintenance could be found negligent. Playground equipment must be checked on a routine basis for the replacement of worn out surfaces, loose bolts, and brittle parts that are exposed to the elements.

Playground injuries could also be the result of poor design and construction. In these cases, the company that designed or constructed the playground might be at fault for defects that led to serious injuries. The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) and some states now have standards for the safe design and construction of playgrounds and their equipment.

As a parent, you want to know that every playground your child sets foot on is safe. Unfortunately, there are some subtle dangers that that are difficult to detect and parents aren’t always in control of what happens inside a school or daycare facility. If your child has been injured in a playground accident in South Carolina, a personal injury lawyer can help you determine if you have a products liability or premises liability case. Our experienced South Carolina personal injury attorneys will also help you gather evidence to prove a case for the award of the compensation you deserve. Contact Peake & Fowler at (803) 788-4370 to schedule an appointment for a free consultation at your convenience.