What Playground Equipment Is Most Dangerous?
While playgrounds should be safe places for children to explore, play, and grow, many types of playground equipment present risks for kids of all ages. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year more than 200,000 children under the age of 15 visit emergency rooms for treatment of playground-related injuries.
While some of these injuries result from collisions and other similar types of accidents, many are the result of equipment-related safety hazards.
The CDC reports that two types of equipment are to blame for the majority of playground injuries. On public playgrounds, climbing equipment is the most dangerous. On home playgrounds, swings account for more injuries than any other piece of equipment.
Safety Risks Associated with Playground Climbing Equipment
The primary hazard associated with playground climbing equipment is the risk of falls. This includes both falls while climbing and falls from the top of climbing structures.
While most pieces of playground climbing equipment are no more than 6 feet tall, even falling from this height presents serious risks for children of all ages. Common injuries in falls from playground climbing equipment include:
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Broken and dislocated bones
- Cuts requiring stitches or sutures
- Emotional trauma
- Severe bruising
- Soft tissue injuries (sprains, strains, and tears)
Climbing walls, geo domes, rope ladders, rigid ladders, and other types of playground climbing equipment all present similar risks. Poor design, poor construction, inadequate maintenance, and materials that are slippery when wet are all common factors in playground climbing equipment accidents.
Children can also suffer injuries due to falling from climbing equipment onto unsafe surfaces or other playground objects. The surfaces installed under pieces of climbing equipment should be designed to absorb shock. In addition, playground layouts should provide space around climbing equipment so that children have room to climb safely to the ground.
Safety Risks Associated with Playground Swings
Swings are staples of public and home playgrounds. While swings can be safe for use by children of appropriate age and height, they can also be dangerous if designed or installed improperly.
Some of the most common safety issues associated with swing sets include:
- Swing sets installed too close to other playground equipment
- Installation of unsafe surface material below swing sets
- Use of dangerous chains or couplings
- Inadequate maintenance of swings
- Swings installed too high off of the ground
As with playground climbing equipment, the greatest danger associated with swing sets is the risk of fall-related injuries. However, collisions (i.e., a swinging child colliding with another child on the ground) and other types of accidents can result in serious injuries as well.
While children will be aware of certain injuries right away, concussions and other internal injuries may not become apparent for hours or even days after an accident occurs. As a result, children’s symptoms should be monitored after playground accidents. Parents should seek medical attention promptly if they have any concerns about their child’s condition.
Who Is Liable When a Child Gets Injured on Dangerous Playground Equipment?
Injuries from accidents involving climbing apparatuses, swing sets, and other dangerous playground equipment can be incredibly expensive. Parents can incur substantial medical bills. In some cases, children will need long-term care. Therefore, in the aftermath of a playground accident, parents should explore their options for recovering financial compensation.
Depending on the circumstances involved, a variety of different entities can potentially be liable for child injuries resulting from dangerous playground equipment. For example, parents may have claims against:
- Playground Equipment Companies – If a climbing apparatus or swing set is dangerous as a result of the way it was designed or manufactured, then the maker of the playground equipment may be liable in the event of an accident (product liability claim).
- Playground Construction Companies – Playground construction companies can be held liable when they improperly design playground layouts, choose improper surface materials, and build climbing apparatuses and swing sets improperly.
- Park Authorities, Schools, and Other Playground Owners – Park authorities, schools, and other playground owners can also face liability for accidents as a result of failing to prevent access, failing to conduct necessary maintenance, and failing to provide adequate supervision as required.
Contact a Lawyer If Your Child Was Injured Due to Dangerous Playground Equipment
At Colling Gilbert Wright, we recognize the challenges faced by families after a child is injured on a playground. If unsafe or faulty equipment was to blame, you should not have to face the burdens alone. Our team investigates the accident to determine what caused your child’s injury and the party or parties responsible.
For a free consultation, please call Colling Gilbert Wright at (407) 712-7300 today. Our lawyers handle dangerous playground equipment claims in Orlando, Tampa, Miami, and throughout Florida.