According to the Center for Disease Control, an estimated 200,000 children a year are injured and treated in emergency rooms for playground accidents. Almost half of these injuries, 45% total, are considered to be severe, including bone fractures, head trauma, internal injuries and dislocations.
The majority of these accidents happen at public playgrounds, often due to poor safety standards by both the manufacturers of playground equipment and those responsible for constructing and maintaining the playground.Playground Accident Hazards Children Face While Playing
While meant to be a place for fun outdoor activity, playgrounds can become dangerous when not well-thought out or maintained. In addition to the thousands of injuries every year that happen on playgrounds, there are fatalities as well. 147 children died between 1990-2000 in playground accidents, with strangulation, entrapment and falls to a hard surface the three most prevalent causes . Some of the hazards that are negligently present on playgrounds include:
- Concrete or hard surfaces under swings, slides, monkey bars, and other climbing equipment
- Rusty or corroded metal on ladders, swings or other equipment
- Rotting or deteriorating wood
- Poorly designed equipment with small openings that can cause entrapment
- Lack of safety rails on higher surfaces
- Poorly maintained equipment and play areas
The owner of the property as well as those in charge of constructing and maintaining the playground are responsible for ensuring its safety. Schools, daycare facilities, government-owned public parks and private companies all are possibly liable when they provide a playground that is unsafe and contains hazards.Preventing Playground Accidents
No one wants to see a child get hurt when they are just trying to have fun in a healthy and active way. Parents and childcare professionals have their responsibility as well to protect children from harm when on playgrounds. Although the maintenance and construction of the playground is the responsibility of the school, city or organization that owns the property, everyone can help improve playground safety.
Some tips to keep kids safe include:
- Keep older children off toddler equipment.
- Choose clothing that does not have loose strings or ties that can become caught on equipment.
- Small children need supervision when playing on equipment
If a child is injured on a playground due to poor construction, substandard safety efforts or lack of maintenance, this can constitute negligence. There are several legal angles that may be pursued to prove liability, depending on the circumstance. A Chicago personal injury attorney can determine which parties are responsible, including the owner of the property, the manufacturer of the playground equipment and even government entities. It some cases, there may be several legal factors involved, including premise liability, product liability and negligence.
Parents may be able to obtain compensation for all expenses related to the medical treatment of their child, including lost wages, medical bills, rehabilitation, special equipment and long-term injury treatments. If the child sustained a severe injury such as brain trauma, there could be additional punitive damages and compensation for pain and suffering. In the tragic case of a child fatality, a wrongful death lawsuit may be pursued for the loss of a precious child. These lawsuits are the best way to bring attention to an unsafe playground to ensure that no other child is injured and no lives are needlessly lost.Illinois Playground Accident Attorneys, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers
Make no doubt about it, when a child is injured in a playground accident the road to recovery is usually an uphill battle. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers knows the defenses claimed in these cases and begins preparing these cases early on with any eye towards preparing the most favorable case possible for our clients. If your child was injured in a playground accident, we invite you to call or email our office where you can discuss your legal options with an attorney who has handled similar cases. Contact us today!
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