An Annual Campaign for Our Children’s Safety
April 20-24 is National Playground Safety Week. It’s a time to focus on improving the safety of our playgrounds in order to help lessen the chances of childhood injuries. Most injuries are preventable. Here are some suggestions of ways to focus awareness on playground safety issues:
- Promote the proper supervision of children at all times.
- Request that your school’s playground equipment be regularly checked to ensure it is in good repair.
- Do your own checking of local playgrounds to determine whether equipment is safe, age-appropriate, and provides the proper surfacing in case of falls.
- Talk with your children about safe playground behaviors.
- Write letters to your local newspaper and elected officials to highlight playground safety.
What the Data Shows
We hate to contemplate it, but sometimes accidents do occur. Over 200,000 children received emergency care for injuries suffered while using playground equipment between 2001 and 2008, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. During that same time period, 40 deaths occurred, with an average age of 6 years. Additionally:
- Over 67% of the accidents involved falls or equipment failure.
- Roughly 15% of accidents resulted in severe injury.
- Fractures were the most common injury (36% of cases), followed by contusions/abrasions (20%), and lacerations (17%).
- 79% of all accidents were fall-related, and 90% of the most severe injuries involved falls.
- Over half (51%) of all injuries happened on public playgrounds.
Accidents were usually caused by one or several of the following:
- Inadequate or inattentive supervision
- Poor maintenance of equipment
- Defective equipment
- Lack of adequate safeguards, such as unlocked gates
- Other hazards not related to equipment.
A Rapidly-Growing Age Group in Florida That Needs Protection
Here in Florida, the population of children ages 5 through17 has tripled since 1960.In Miami-Dade County alone, the most recent census data record approximately 615,000 children under the age of 20.
This likely accounts for a recent legislative proposal which would protect Florida's youngest citizens. In late February of 2015, the chair of Florida’s Senate Committee on Children, Families and Elder Affairs, Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, filed a bill addressing playground injuries. SB 504 would require inspections of all playgrounds open to the public and upgrading of present or future playgrounds so that they meet standards set by ASTM International, an industry group.
If You and Your Child Need Help
If your child has been injured in the state of Florida by a playground accident at school, at a public park, or at another similar location, the Miami personal injury lawyers at Stabinski and Funt, P.A., can help. They can review your case and discuss your legal options with you for obtaining compensation for medical care, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and other damages. For further discussion on this topic and a free initial consultation, contact us by calling (305) 964-8644 or by using our online inquiry form. For 45 years, we have been the trusted advocates for countless injury victims and their families throughout South Florida. Let us help you.
DISCLAIMER: Any information about past verdicts and settlements is based on the unique facts of each case. Every case is different, and future cases may not achieve the same or similar results. These amounts reflect the gross recovery (before attorneys’ fees and expenses are deducted).