What Parents Need to Know about Playground Accidents

Playground Accidents

It’s one of every parent’s worst nightmares – a call telling you that your child has been injured while playing at the playground. Today’s playgrounds are much safer than many of us remember, but they still pose serious injury risks to children, especially when school districts or other responsible parties fail to properly supervise children or adequately maintain school playgrounds. If your child has suffered injuries on a playground, he or she may be entitled to significant compensation. To discuss your legal options, reach out to a Los Angeles personal injury attorney and contact our office today.

Playground Accidents can Cause Extremely Serious Injuries

Playgrounds offer children a place to develop important physical and social skills. Unfortunately, when accidents happen, they can also suffer extremely serious injuries. In the most severe cases, children may develop lifelong medical issues that could affect them personally and professionally. Some of the most common playground injuries that children can suffer include:

Fractures and Broken Bones

One of the most common injuries on the playground are fractures and broken bones. Children often engage in activities that involve climbing, swinging, and jumping, which can sometimes lead to falls from equipment. These falls can result in broken arms, legs, or even more severe fractures, requiring extensive medical attention, including surgeries and rehabilitation. These injuries can have a significant impact on a child's physical development and daily activities.

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) Playground accidents can also lead to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), which can be particularly concerning. When children fall from heights or collide with other children during play, they may sustain head injuries that can cause concussions or more severe TBIs. TBIs can have a profound effect on a child's cognitive and emotional development, potentially leading to long-term disabilities and learning difficulties.

Spinal Cord Injuries

While less common, playground accidents can also result in spinal cord injuries. These injuries often occur when children fall awkwardly or collide with playground equipment. Spinal cord injuries can lead to partial or complete paralysis, which can have a life-altering impact on a child's mobility and quality of life. These injuries may require ongoing medical care and rehabilitation.

Burns and Scalds

Playground equipment, such as slides and metal play structures, can become extremely hot in the sun, leading to burns and scalds when children come into contact with them. Severe burns can result in excruciating pain, scarring, and the need for skin grafts or reconstructive surgery, potentially leaving a child with permanent disfigurement.

Internal Injuries

Playground accidents can sometimes lead to internal injuries, such as organ damage or internal bleeding. These injuries may not always be immediately apparent and can worsen over time if left untreated. It is crucial for parents and caregivers to be vigilant and seek medical attention if a child exhibits any signs of internal injury, such as persistent pain, vomiting, or difficulty breathing.

What Causes Playground Injuries?

Playground injuries can occur for a wide variety of reasons, and not all of them are legally actionable. For example, if your child suffered an injury after a simple trip and fall that did not involve a dangerous fall hazard, it is unlikely that your child would be entitled to compensation. That said, if your child’s injury was due to an unreasonably dangerous condition, you may be able to file a claim. Some of the more common causes of playground injuries that are legally actionable include:

Inadequate Maintenance and Inspection

Playground equipment undergoes wear and tear over time due to exposure to the elements and constant use. Failure to maintain and regularly inspect playground equipment is a significant actionable factor that can lead to accidents. Loose bolts, rusted structures, and damaged components can pose serious hazards to children. Responsible parties, such as schools, municipalities, or property owners, have a duty to conduct routine inspections, identify hazards, and promptly repair or replace damaged equipment to prevent injuries.

Inadequate Supervision

A lack of proper supervision is another factor that can contribute to playground injuries. Schools, daycare centers, and recreational facilities have a responsibility to ensure that trained and attentive supervisors are present when children are using the playground. Inadequate supervision can lead to accidents caused by rough play, bullying, or children engaging in activities that are beyond their skill level.

Poor Playground Design

Playground design plays a crucial role in safety. Poorly designed playgrounds can have equipment placed too closely together, inadequate fall zones, or inappropriate surfacing materials. All of these design flaws can increase the risk of accidents. Actionable measures involve working with playground designers and builders to create safe, age-appropriate, and compliant playground environments that minimize injury risks.

Lack of Safety Surfacing

Inadequate or improper safety surfacing is a common contributor to playground injuries. Playground surfaces should provide cushioning to absorb the impact of falls, reducing the severity of injuries. When playgrounds lack appropriate surfaces, such as rubber mulch, engineered wood fiber, or poured-in-place rubber, children are at a higher risk of sustaining injuries when they fall from equipment.

What to Do After a Playground Accident

If your child is injured on a playground, there are certain steps that you should take immediately. Some of the most important include:

  • Seek medical attention after any playground accident. It’s critical both for your child’s health and for the strength of any legal claim you make later. 
  • Notify the party responsible for the playground about your incident.
  • Keep all documentation about the incident and continue to document your child’s recovery.
  • Preserve any physical evidence you have, such as damaged clothing, broken playground equipment, or other items that are related to the incident.
  • Contact a qualified personal injury lawyer as soon as you can

Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a California Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If your child has suffered injuries in a playground accident, you should contact an attorney as soon as you can. At Arshakyan Law Firm, our Los Angeles County personal injury attorneys are dedicated to helping get injured victims the compensation they deserve under California law. To schedule your free case evaluation with a lawyer, call our office at (888) 851-5005 today or contact us online.

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