The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger are injured on playgrounds each year. Tragically, fifteen of those will die. Children can have accidents on school playgrounds or on a daycare playground; however, the majority of playground accidents do occur at daycare facilities. Nearly three-fourths of all the playground accidents which result in death are caused by a fall and a resulting head injury. The best way to alleviate this particular risk is for the facility to ensure that the playground surface is a shock-absorbing type. Playground equipment must be safe and well-maintained, and there must always be adequate supervision for children playing on the playground.
Are Your Children Safe on the Playground?
There are specific safety requirements for school playgrounds as well as daycare playgrounds which must be adhered to. Although schools generally follow the safety guidelines and requirements, daycare centers may be more lax. The daycare workers must be properly trained and able to quickly react to children’s needs as well as to playground-related injuries. The most common causes of playground accidents include:
- Lack of supervision is by far the most common cause of playground accidents. Younger children in particular are often unaware of their physical limitations and have no understanding of the risks associated with climbing too high, running too fast, or stepping in front of another child who is swinging. It is the duty and responsibility of the daycare workers to supervise children, keeping them as safe as possible. Daycare center employees may be distracted because they are watching other children, or could be distracted because they are texting, talking on their phone, or even playing a game on their phone instead of watching the children. Even more alarming than a distracted daycare worker is one who is not even present. When children are left, unsupervised, on the playground, accidents can happen in an instant.
- Slip and falls are the next leading cause of playground accident. Uneven surfaces or surfaces which are wet or slick can lead to slip and falls. Children who climb to heights which are too extreme for their age and ability, can also fall, resulting in potentially serious or fatal injuries.
- Injuries caused by other children. When children are not appropriately supervised, the more aggressive children can injure others by pushing, shoving, biting, hitting or scratching.
- Disrepair or poor maintenance of playground equipment. This is another common cause of playground accidents. Playground equipment can become fragile and therefore dangerous over time. Because the playground equipment is continuously exposed to the elements, plastic or wood can crack, splinter or rot away, leading to accidents and resulting injuries. Metal components can rust or fatigue, and screws and bolts can loosen. Ropes used with the equipment can fray and become frail.
- Dangerous equipment. If the equipment being used on a daycare playground is older, it may not meet current safety standards. The equipment can be dangerous due to sharp, broken or jagged edges, or parts which can pinch or even sever a child’s fingers or toes.
Contact Our Washington DC Child Injury Lawyers
At Patrick Malone & Associates, our child injury lawyers have extensive experience representing injured children and families in Washington, DC metro area, Virginia, and throughout the State of Maryland. If your child has sustained a serious injury due someone else’s negligence on a playground, there are ways we can help. Call us at 1-202-742-1500 or 1-888-625-6635 or fill out our confidential contact form for a FREE Consultation and review of your case.
The child injury attorneys at Patrick Malone & Associates have successfully represented injured individuals in Washington, DC, Arlington, Alexandria, Annapolis, Rockville, Baltimore, Richmond, Fairfax, Maryland, and throughout Virginia.