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PA & NJ Recreational Accidents - Playground Accidents (Part 2)

Kids are often injured on playgrounds, whether it is a public playground or a school playground.  Accidents happen for various reasons.  Some are due to the condition of the structure, and some are due to someone's negligence.

Part 1 of this article discussed playground accidents at schools due to dangerous equipment or play structures.  Part 2 of this article will discuss playground accidents due to lack of supervision at school playgrounds.

Pennsylvania law requires a certain ratio of teachers to children at schools depending on the children's ages.  There must be a sufficient number of staff members supervising a certain number of kids at all times.  Section 3270.51 of 55 Pa. Code, Chapter 3270, Child Care Centers, provides:

When children are grouped in similar age levels, the following maximum child group sizes and ratios of staff persons apply:

Similar Age Levels



Group Size

Total Number
of Staff Required for
the Maximum Group Size






Young toddler





Older toddler










Young school-age





Older school-age





When there is an insufficient number of staff members supervising children, whether it is in a class room or on a playground, accidents can and do happen.

Many schools have different play structures on the playgrounds for different age groups.  There may be monkey bars and slides that are not appropriate for 3 year olds because they are too high and pose fall hazards for young children.  These play structures may only be appropriate for kids 5 and above. 

Some schools may be able to have separate playgrounds for different age groups, but most have play structures for different age groups on the same playground.  Therefore, a slide for 3 year olds may be next to a slide for 5 year olds.

When there is lack of supervision or an insufficient number of staff members supervising the children on the playground, accidents happen and children get hurt.

A reason accidents happen is because young children play on play structures, such as slides and monkey bars, made for older children.

For example, a 3 year old may try to go on a slide made for a 5 year old which is much higher than the slide made for a 3 year old.  As the 3 year old is climbing up the steps near the top of the slide, he slips, falls and seriously hurts himself.  He may fracture his arm or leg or even suffer a concussion from the fall.

Because there was an insufficient number of teachers or staff on the playground, the teachers did not see the 3 year old trying to go up on the slide.  The school in this example may be responsible for the child's injuries.

Related: Playgrounds & Head Injury - What Parents Should Look Out For

Was Your Child Hurt On A School Playground?

Your child may have legal rights if he/she had an accident on a school playground and was seriously hurt.  Call the recreational accident lawyers at White and Williams who are licensed in PA and NJ.  They will take the time to answer all of your questions and concerns and help your child obtain just compensation. FREE consultations. 877.944.8396


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