Playground Injuries at Arizona Schools
Recess is one of the best times for kids to let out some energy, connect with friends, enjoy the sunshine, and practice their athletic ability. Most children look forward to the time they get to spend running, jumping, sliding, and swinging. However, there are plenty of injuries that occur on school playgrounds, and there are a few tips parents can share with their children to reduce the likelihood of serious injuries.
What Types of Injuries Happen on Playgrounds?
Any type of injury is possible on a playground, even deadly injuries. In fact, statistics show that as many as two-thirds of school injuries happen on the playground. Children can sustain simple cuts and scrapes from falling, or they can suffer from serious injuries like concussions or broken bones.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most playground injuries are fractures, contusions and abrasions. Most often, children sustain injuries while playing on monkey bars or falling from other playground structures like climbing equipment and swings. Of the deaths reported, most involved strangulation caused by things like jump ropes, dog leashes, swings, and clothes with drawstrings. Remaining deaths were caused by falls from high surfaces. Children most likely to suffer injuries are between the ages of 5 and 9.
Children can also be hurt when playground structures aren’t properly maintained, such as when they have loose nuts and bolts, cracks, tears, or sharp surfaces. Swings can break, slides can fall apart, monkey bars can become loose or completely separate. The CDC statistics show that playgrounds that are well maintained pose fewer risks to children than those that have rusty, loose and broken equipment.
Tips for Parents:
There are many things parents can do to keep children safer, including:
• Review the school and playground rules with your children and make sure they understand all of them.
• Don’t buy clothes with drawstrings for younger children, as they can present choking hazards.
• Inspect school playgrounds and notify staff of any dangerous equipment or items that need to be repaired
• Tall playground equipment should have guardrails to ensure younger children can’t fall.
• Pick up items on playground that present a tripping hazard, such as branches and rocks.
• Make sure the playground has soft material such as rubber, wood chips, or sand in case children fall.
You can also ask your child’s teacher and principal what procedures they follow when children are injured. For example: at what point do they notify you? When do they call for an EMT? Do recess teachers know first aid and CPR? Is there a first-aid kit, Epi-Pen, and other equipment readily available?
We hope these tips help keep your children safe on the playground! If you have any legal questions about playground injuries sustained at school, feel free to contact The Husband and Wife Law Team!