The medical journal Pediatrics reports in its June 2016 edition that traumatic brain injuries from playground accidents increased dramatically between 2001 and 2013. They report that well over 200,000 children age 14 and younger were seen in emergency rooms for brain injuries from playground accidents during that time. This represents an increase of 57%. The authors of the studies do not attempt to explain the reasons for the increase.
There are many possible reasons for the increase in ER visits for brain injuries from playground accidents, including the possibility that publicity over the serious long-term effects of traumatic brain injuries may simply result in more parents bringing their children to be checked by a doctor after they hit their heads. However, as playgrounds age and maintenance falls behind, playgrounds can become unnecessarily, avoidably dangerous for children.
The surface around playground equipment such as swings, sliding boards and monkey bars should be soft and shock absorbent. Rubberized surfaces, wood fiber products and soft sand are among the best, safest surfaces. Concrete, blacktop, grass and packed dirt are among the worst, most dangerous surfaces. Also, the equipment must be regularly inspected and maintained to ensure safety. Metal parts can rust, causing swings and other equipment to suddenly fail during use. Sharp edges can form on metal equipment as it ages and deteriorates. Canvas, rubber and similar materials can become unsafe with age and a lack of maintenance, increasing the likelihood of an avoidable accident.
If a child suffers a serious injury due to unsafe playground equipment or surface, it is important that a lawyer get to the scene to inspect the location and preserve important evidence in case litigation is appropriate. So, if you believe your child was injured due to an unsafe playground or dangerous playground equipment, you should contact a lawyer with experience in this type of case right away.
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