If your child is injured on a playground, you may wonder who’s responsible. The answer depends on whether a defective piece of equipment caused the injury or if it occurred due to a lack of supervision.
The following article will discuss different ways your child can be injured on a playground, which may be held liable in each case, and common types of playground injuries. You’ll also learn how to prevent playground injuries—and what to do when they happen.
Different Ways A Child Can Be Injured on A Playground
According to the U.S. CDC, more than 200,000 children aged 14 and below are treated in emergency departments for playground-related injuries yearly. Severe fractures, amputations, and internal injuries contribute to 45% of the reported injuries. Most of these injuries are
A child can be injured on a playground in many ways. Here are some of the most common:
Falling off the swings
A child can fall off a swing and get injured in many ways. The worst scenario is when the child falls and hits their head, causing them to bleed or bruise. Another way that children can be injured is if they hit their heads on the ground while running around on the playground. In this case, they may be knocked unconscious, resulting in a concussion or brain damage.
Getting hit by a ball or other object
Children will sometimes get hit by balls or other objects that hit them while playing on the playground. This can happen if they run into someone while playing and if another child is playing with one of these objects and doesn’t realize how dangerous it could be for them until later on down the road (when all those bruises start to show up).
Falling down the slide
This doesn’t happen very often, but it can lead to severe injuries if a child falls from the top of a slide onto another child who is sliding down after them.
Getting hit by another child who was running around on the playground
This can happen because children can be naive about their surroundings or not pay attention to where they’re going.
Who is Liable when a Child is Injured on the Playground?
If you are the parent or a guardian of a child who has been injured while playing on a playground, you may wonder who is responsible for their treatment. The law in this area is complex and varies by state. In general, if you are out of state and your child has been injured while playing on a public playground (or even an unsupervised private one), you will likely have to file a lawsuit to receive compensation for their injuries.
- Negligent Supervisors
This person or entity directly supervises the playground, such as a school or park. If someone is negligent, they could be held liable for a child’s injury on a playground. Negligent supervision means that the supervisor failed to meet their duty to keep the children safe and secure. If a supervisor knowingly fails to meet this duty, they can be held responsible for any injuries caused by their negligence. The supervisor may also be liable if they were aware of an unsafe situation but failed to take action to prevent it from happening again.
- Maintenance Department
The maintenance department is responsible for maintaining playground equipment and structures, including installing new parts when necessary (such as fixing broken pieces or tightening loose screws) and ensuring that all parts are working properly. If there are defects in the manufacturing process of these components, you can file against the manufacturer if you have been injured by them.
- Defective Manufacturers
According to Harvard Business Review, 46 states have warranted manufacturers to be fully liable for any defect that causes injury. Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that their products are safe when consumers use them. If a product is defective, it can cause injuries when used correctly—in this case, the manufacturer should have known about the defect and should be liable for damages caused by it.
Common Types of Playground Injuries and How to Treat Them.
We all know kids get hurt playing outside; here are the 7 most common types of playground injuries and some ways to treat each.
- Impalement: This happens when your child is impaled on a spike of playground equipment. You can prevent this by ensuring your child’s shoes fit properly and not wearing excessively tight clothing.
- Fracture: Fractures occur when there is a break in the bone at some point in its development. They can happen in bones on the fingers or toes of young children, so it’s vital to ensure they wear appropriate shoes and socks.
- Laceration: A wound that doesn’t need stitches but requires medical attention nonetheless because it may cause infection if left untreated for too long (which could lead to tetanus).
- Internal Bleeding: When your child sustains an injury to their internal organs that causes internal bleeding, such as a broken rib or punctured lung, you’ll want them to see a doctor immediately so they can be treated for this type of injury before it becomes more serious.
- Concussion: Concussions are caused by hitting your head hard on a wall or fence post. It can also happen during a game of tag while playing football or falling off a trampoline.
- Head trauma: Head trauma includes any injury to your head—like getting hit with a ball, falling on your head, or being struck by another person—that causes bleeding inside your skull. Seek medical help immediately.
- Skinned knee or elbow: skinned knees and elbows occur when you fall on your knees onto the ground hard enough to bruise them or if you fall onto your elbow and knock it against another surface, such as sidewalk cement. Some say these are not emergencies but can become so if left untreated for too long! Make sure to clean.
How to Avoid Playground Injuries
Now that you’ve read this article, you’re probably wondering why you would ever let your children play in a playground again. Well, it’s not as bad as you think! They can still have fun on playgrounds without getting hurt, and here are some tips for how to make that happen:
- Wear a helmet
- Inspect the playground before you go
- Make sure your child has the right shoes for the playground
- Don’t play too long at once; rest breaks are important
Whether you’re a parent or someone who has been there, playground injuries are a reality of childhood. And as much as you might want to keep your kids safe, accidents happen. When they do, it’s important to know what to do so that the injury doesn’t become severe and put your child in danger. Consult an attorney immediately after you realize foul play and negligence are evident.
If your child was injured on a playground, contact us or call us at 515-444-4000 today for a free consultation.