It is a parent’s worst nightmare. Your child runs outside to play and ends up injured, bruised at best, suffering from debilitating injuries at worst. The question for many is how to prevent these injuries from occurring in the first place. The question for a tragic few is what to do if your child is a victim. Surprisingly, the two answers overlap, so let’s address both here.
How to Prevent Playground Injuries
Slips and falls are the number one cause of playground injuries for young children. The first thing you should do is check the surface of the playground before you let your child play on it. Try to have children play on safe surfaces rather than dirt or grass. Avoid playing on equipment on asphalt or cement unless there is a softer “safety surface” on top of it.
The next step is ensuring that the equipment itself is properly maintained. Make certain that railings are properly attached and there aren’t openings large enough to trap a limb or head.
Check for open areas at the top of slides that could catch strings and strangle a child, or equally bad, allow them to fall from a great height. Loose and exposed bolts are a major warning sign. Also, check out the cargo nets since openings that are too large could let a child fall through.
In the summer, check the temperature of the playground equipment. Metal surfaces can become dangerously hot if they aren’t in the shade. This could burn the skin if they’ve been exposed to the sun for a long time, even when the air is just 74°F. Water can make playgrounds more pleasant, but you should try to make the surface as slip-free as possible.
On top of everything, parents need to supervise their children. This is especially true for young children. They don’t appreciate the risks that come with climbing too high or pushing their limits. Parents who don’t take reasonable steps to protect a child or fail to supervise a child will be held responsible if the child is injured.
What to Do If Your Child Is a Victim
First and foremost, render first aid where you can. Seek medical attention as soon as possible, especially for severe injuries or matters not resolved by first aid. Seek legal advice if you’re dealing with a severe injury or major medical bills. A lawyer can help you determine who is liable for the dangerous conditions and get compensation for your child’s injuries.
Who Is Liable?
Liability is a complicated matter. The daycare or school that owns the playground probably didn’t design it or construct it. The company that installed it may not have designed it, and a third-party may have supplied materials like the shock absorbent foam under the jungle gym. Maintaining the equipment is another issue altogether. Depending on the cause of a child’s injury, the actions of any one of these parties or several of them may be liable. If you aren’t sure who is responsible, we suggest you consult a personal injury law firm like David R. Heil Law to find out how and who should be prosecuted in that case. This firm works on a no win no fee basis, so no payment is required until it’s won in your favor.
Around half of all playground-related injuries include severe injuries like fractures and concussions, so do everything you can to prevent injuries. However, accidents do happen, and it helps to know what to do next.