For children, playgrounds are entertainment havens meant for adventure and recreation. Now that it’s summer, playgrounds are the place to be for energetic kids and their attentive parents.
However, while playgrounds are built with good intentions, poor maintenance and a general lack of injury-prevention resources can turn these miniature adventure parks into high-risk danger zones. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 200,000 children are injured in playground accidents each year.
To keep your child safe, our team of personal injury attorneys at The Stewart Law Firm has assembled this list of the top 5 playground safety hazards to watch out for this summer.
1. Faulty Construction
Approximately 1 in 3 playgrounds have faulty equipment that could hurt a child. Before letting your child run free, it’s important to check the playground equipment for construction flaws that could result in injury or harm.
Here are some examples:
- exposed hardware
- sharp corners or edges
- broken parts
- entanglement or entrapment hazards
- tangling hazards
- unsound barriers on high platforms
2. Crowded space
In the era of COVID-19, it’s important that your kids have enough space to play without coming into close contact with a lot of strangers. It’s a good idea to follow these three steps to prevent infection:
- make sure your kids are wearing masks
- carry hand sanitizer with you and use it frequently
- remind your kids not to touch anyone outside of your bubble
The risk of infection aside, crowded areas can be dangerous for kids as they increase the risk of collisions and don’t allow for adequate falling or impact space. In general, the more wide open space for your kids to run around in, the better.
3. Trip hazards
Along with crowded space comes the culprit responsible for one of the most common playground injuries: trip hazards.
While it may seem like not that big of a deal, even seemingly minor falls can chip a tooth, hit a head, or pull a limb in the wrong direction.
Watch out for tripping hazards like sticks, tree roots, large stones, old tires, and protruding playground equipment.
4. Improper Protective Surfacing
It’s not uncommon for a child to fall off a slide or intentionally fly off a swing. When it comes to the landing, a playground’s protective surfacing may be the single factor protecting your child from suffering a severe injury.
When you’re examining a playground for hazards, make sure you take the protective surfacing into account. Adequate protective surfaces include:
- Wood chips or fibers
- Shredded rubber
- Rubber tiles
Surfaces that can be potentially dangerous include:
- Dirt or gravel
5. Poor Upkeep
Unfortunately, there are no government-mandated safety standards when it comes to managing a playground. Because of this, 1 in 3 public playgrounds has outdated equipment and structures.
When a playground is in disrepair, it poses many dangers to children who may hurt themselves. If you notice that a playground has damaged, rusty equipment, or a high amount of trip hazards and broken parts, it may be time to find a new place to play.
Hire a personal injury attorney in Austin
If your child has suffered injuries because of a dangerous playground environment, The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC can help. A personal injury lawsuit may get you compensation that ensures your family can pay for your child’s medical treatments and move forward with your lives. Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, and offer child injury counsel and legal representation 24/7.
Contact The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC at (512) 271-5112 to schedule a consultation.