Cincinnati Product Liability Lawyer: Children at Risk of Preventable Playground Injuries
Playgrounds in public parks, daycare centers, schools, campgrounds or private property are an obvious source of fun for children across the country, though in recent years, severe playground injuries have raised safety concerns on the equipment itself and negligent playground maintenance. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year in the United States, emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger for playground injuries.
Defective playground equipment may include dangerous slides, monkey bars, climbing apparatus and swings that can each pose a risk to children of various ages, and lead to serious playground injuries like broken bones, lacerations and amputations, head and neck injuries and potential strangulation.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Ohio product liability lawyer and premises liability attorney representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of consumer product liability cases involving playground injuries.
The Potential Risk for Playground Injuries
Unfortunately, it is not unusual for kids to get seriously injured in a playground accident. Accidents may be the result of negligent installation or equipment maintenance, defective playground equipment or a poorly designed playground. Studies have also found that playgrounds in low-income areas have more maintenance-related hazards than playgrounds in high-income areas. Playground hazards that can lead to injuries include:
- Exposed sharp hardware
- Improperly anchored equipment
- Fall Hazards
- Loose screws or bolts
- Inadequate fall guards or ground cushioning
- Missing safety features
- Entrapment or strangulation hazards
- No warning signs
- Poorly maintained playgrounds
- Defective designs
Commonly Treated Playground Injuries
Almost half of playground-related injuries are severe fractures, internal injuries, concussions, dislocations, or amputations, mostly occurring at schools, daycare centers and public playgrounds. Between 1990 and 2000, 147 children ages 14 and younger died from playground-related injuries. Of them, more than half of whom died from strangulation.
- Fractures: the most common playground injury. Children aged 5 to 9 are the most likely group to fracture bones.
- Head injuries: concussions are a common playground injury, mainly related to falls from climbing equipment.
- Dislocation: a common injury for young children. Dislocated arms, elbows or other joints are usually involved.
- Contusions and Lacerations: Cuts, scrapes, bruises are not typically serious, though poorly maintained equipment may cause severe cuts and even amputation in some cases.
Playground Equipment Dangers & Recalls
Playground Equipment may be recalled before or after injuries, or as a result of pending lawsuits filed on behalf of injured victims. Some recent recalls of playground slides have included:
- The Slalom Glider, a six-foot high playground plastic slide, curved in shape with an arched, tubular steel access ladder. The recalled slide came as a stand-alone slide or as an attachment to other playground equipment. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) received 16 reports of injuries to children under 8-years old, including 14 fractures to arms and legs, one fractured collar bone and one bruised spleen.
- In another unrelated case of a defective slide, 1,300 stainless steel playground slides were recalled after two children had their fingers amputated by broken equipment. The company released a statement describing the safety issue: “The weld between the slide bedway and sidewall can crack and separate. A child’s fingers can get caught in the space, posing an amputation hazard.”
Compensation for Victims of Playground Accidents
If your child has suffered any playground injuries due to the negligence of supervision or defective equipment, it is important to preserve physical evidence with medical records, photographs and all product parts. Take photos at the injury scene and contact a personal injury lawyer to evaluate the cause of the injury.
Playground equipment can be under the jurisdiction of schools and daycare facilities or municipal or state governments. If manufacturers sell equipment that does not meet current safety standards, or incorrectly installs and maintains the equipment, they may be liable for injuries. Compensation may be available for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and punitive damages against a manufacturer for disregarding the safety of children and consumers. Manufacturers and distributors of goods can be held liable for physical harm caused by their products.
If your child has suffered an injury due to staff negligence or piece of defective playground equipment, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions.