Chicago Playground Accident Attorney
As a parent, the last place you would expect your child to get injured is the playground, where it’s supposed to be safe for kids. Unfortunately, playground accidents are more common than you think.
Every property with a playground must ensure that its playground, including equipment and surrounding premises, is always safe. Failure to meet this duty increases the risk of playground injuries, risking the safety of children who are physically more susceptible to injuries than adults.
If your child sustained a playground injury due to the negligence of the playground owner, you might be entitled to financial compensation. Schedule a free evaluation with personal injury attorneys at
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC to determine if you have a case.
Call our Chicago child injury lawyers at (888) 424-5757 or fill out this online contact form for a free consultation today. All sensitive information you provide our law firm will remain confidential under an attorney-client relationship.
Statistics on Playground-Related Injuries
According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), US emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children under 14 for playground-related injuries yearly. Other relevant data include:
- About 45% of playground injuries are severe, including concussions, fractures, internal injuries, dislocations, and even amputations.
- Around 75% of nonfatal injuries related to playground equipment occur at schools, daycare centers, and other public playgrounds.
- Children ages 5 to 9 have higher rates of emergency room visits than any other age group.
- On public playgrounds, most nonfatal injuries occur on climbing equipment.
- On residential playgrounds, most injuries are caused by swings.
- Playgrounds in low-income areas had more hazards (e.g., trash, rusty playground equipment, faulty fall surfaces) than those in high-income areas.
Most Common Causes of Playground Injuries
Some playground accidents are simply unavoidable. Others result from the following contributing factors:
Poor Maintenance of Playground Equipment
Playground equipment requires regular maintenance to maintain the safety of children playing on it. When a piece of equipment lacks proper care, it can start to deteriorate, leading to unsafe conditions such as instability and reduced effectiveness of safety features.
For example, a new piece of climber equipment will have strong handholds. These handholds can deteriorate over time without proper maintenance. If a handhold breaks off while the child is holding onto it at a significant height, the child may suffer a severe fall.
Defective Playground Equipment
Occasionally, playground equipment can be hazardous even with proper maintenance if it is defective in the first place. Despite modern safety measures on playground equipment, manufacturing defects can still occur.
Possible defects include:
- Unsafe padding
- Lack of a safety mat
- Missing screws or bolts
- Parts that don’t fit well together
- Protruding nails and sharp edges
Poor Playground Design
A playground requires a safe layout wherein children are at a minimum risk of colliding with each other while playing. For example, a swing set should be at an adequate distance away from other equipment to prevent swinging children from hitting passersby.
Children fall over all the time, sometimes for no reason. That said, part of playground safety is proper landscaping. Playground floor surfaces should be made of impact-absorbing materials, such as sand, wet pour rubber, and rubber tiles.
Similarly, playgrounds should not have large rocks, exposed concrete footings, uneven ground, tree roots, or tree stumps. These hazards significantly increase the risk of trip accidents.
One of the most critical factors of playground safety is adequate supervision. The main reason is that children often lack awareness of many dangerous situations. Many young children don’t know the risks of running too fast, climbing too high, or using the equipment before they are big enough.
Parents and guardians should always watch their children while on the playground. While supervising a child does not make them immune to injuries, it can significantly reduce the risk of playground accidents.
Common Playground-Related Injuries
Hospital emergency rooms treat all sorts of injuries from playground accidents, ranging from mild to severe. The following injuries are some of the most common in playgrounds:
- Head and Brain Injuries: If a child falls on their head, they may experience a concussion or a traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBIs occur when a significant blow or jolt to the head causes the brain to bounce around in the skull. In worst cases, playground-related head injuries can lead to brain bleeds and brain damage.
- Broken Bones: Falling from a significant height, tripping on an object, or running into a piece of equipment are the most common causes of broken bones in the playground.
- Internal Injuries: If the impact on your child’s body is strong enough, it can damage their internal organs and cause internal bleeding.
- Cuts and Scrapes: Many playground injuries involve cuts and scrapes. While minor, they can still cause unnecessary pain to your child.
- Strangulation: Accidental strangulation or asphyxiation typically results from a child getting entangled with strings and ropes on playground equipment.
- Spinal Cord Trauma: Severe accidents can lead to spinal cord trauma, which, in turn, can cause paralysis.
Filing a Playground Accident Claim or Lawsuit
All playground owners must take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of every child. If they fail to meet that obligation and it causes your child’s injury, you could hold them accountable for their negligence.
First, you must determine who is at fault.
There may be multiple parties at fault for your child’s injuries, including:
- The Playground Owner: You must prove that the owner failed to provide a safe playground, which led to your child’s injuries. For example, a slide’s sharp edges that cut your child on the way down may be enough evidence to prove liability.
- The Equipment Manufacturer: If you received faulty equipment for your home playground, you might be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer.
- School or Daycare Staff: Playgrounds are not 100% safe. Thus, children require adequate supervision from adults. Staff at schools or daycare facilities may be held partially liable for endangering your child’s safety if you can prove that they were negligent in supervising your child.
Parents may also be partially responsible for their child’s accident, and defense parties may use this to fight the case. Contact a lawyer to ensure you obtain a fair settlement for your claim.
Children can sustain severe injuries from playground accidents, often leading to multiple losses. The following are possible damages that you can include in your claim:
- Medical Bills: You may be able to recover the expenses for your child’s treatment, including medication, surgery, hospitalization, and emergency transportation.
- Disability: Head injuries and spinal cord trauma can lead to disability. If your child becomes disabled after the accident, you could sue for related damages, including mobility aids, loss of quality of life, etc.
- Lost Income: You may have to miss work while taking care of your child. And if your child becomes disabled, you may have to quit your job entirely. Either way, you could claim lost wages, bonuses, commissions, and lost future income.
- Pain and Suffering: Physical pain and mental anguish have a significantly bigger impact on children. Moreover, you have likely endured pain and suffering while watching your child in pain.
Playground Safety Tips
It is impossible to protect your child from all the dangers in the world. Nevertheless, taking extra precautions can help you keep them safe whenever possible.
Keep these safety tips in mind whenever you visit playgrounds:
- When visiting a new playground, look for hidden dangers (e.g., protruding parts on a piece of equipment or large rocks next to a fall surface) before letting your child play.
- Supervise your child as much as possible, especially if they are six and under. Negligent supervision can easily lead to an accident within a blink of an eye.
- Report playground safety risks to the playground owner or local office.
- Remove your child's necklaces, drawstrings, and scarves to reduce the risk of strangulation.
- Look for age-appropriate playgrounds for your child. If your child is still small, look for playgrounds with separate areas for children under 5.
- Inspect the playgrounds at your child’s school to ensure they meet minimum playground safety standards.
- Teach your child about proper playground etiquette.
Talk to an Experienced Chicago Lawyer About Your Child’s Playground Mishap
Unfortunately, playgrounds are not always safe. There may be many hidden dangers lurking in playgrounds that can put your child in harm’s way. And in most cases, unsafe playgrounds stem from someone else’s negligence.
Most playground mishaps occur at schools, daycare centers, and other public play areas. If your child was injured due to a property owner’s failure to provide a safe playground, contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC to recover compensation for your family’s losses.
Call (888 424-5757 for a free consultation. Do not send sensitive or confidential information to this website. A confidential attorney-client relationship will only commence when your personal injury lawyer talks to you personally about your case.