The Dangers of Playgrounds and Personal Injury

When Avery was in the fourth grade, at every recess she would run for the monkey bars located on the school play-ground. She loved the bars so much, she would cross their entire length by going hand over hand. She would hang from her knees and swing. For the entire period, she would play and practice new tricks she had learned at her after-school gymnastics class.

One day, Avery lost her grip on the bars and plummeted to the ground. She was rushed by ambulance to the hospital emergency room where it was confirmed that she had suffered a compound fracture of both bones in her left forearm when she hit the concrete below the bars. A surgical procedure was required and, subsequently, a cast was wrapped around her arm, starting at her wrist and running all the way to her shoulder.

Days of recuperation followed during which Avery was not allowed to go to school. She was distressed that her perfect attendance for the school year had been destroyed. She was left-handed, which made the six weeks that she could not use her hand or arm particularly difficult.

Avery was only one of approximately 200,000 children who are treated annually in emergency rooms due to playground injuries. More than 20,000 of those injured suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). More injuries occur on the monkey bars and other climbing equipment than on any other piece of playground equipment.

Common Causes of Playground Injuries

All children who use playground equipment are at risk for injury. Common sense and statistics confirm that playgrounds that are well-maintained are safer than those who have old, rusty and broken equipment. Some of the most common causes of playground injuries are:

  • Hard concrete under equipment like monkey bars instead of soft materials like sand, mulch or wood chips.
  • Children playing on equipment that is not right for their age and size.
  • Equipment in poor condition. Many playgrounds have equipment that is decades old. The equipment has become rusty and some has deteriorated so badly that screws and bolts have become loose and are protruding. Children fall against them and suffer from scrapes and cuts.
  • Equipment was improperly designed. For example, a child may fall over the edge of a slide that is not properly designed or constructed.
  • Tree stumps, rocks or other items in the play area seem to be just waiting for children to trip over them.
  • Inadequate supervision.

Most Common Type of Playground Equipment Injuries

In addition to the 20 percent who suffer a TBI, the following injuries are the most common ones suffered by children injured on playgrounds.

  • Broken bones.
  • Dislocations.
  • Concussions.
  • Bruises.
  • Internal injuries.

When children slip while climbing on a piece of playground equipment, they often are injured as they fall against other parts of the apparatus on their way to the ground.

How an Attorney Can Help

If your child was injured while using playground equipment, you may be able to pursue recovering for your child’s damages if the injury was caused by another’s negligence. Medical expenses add up and, depending on your deductible and copays, it could be very expensive. Some students may be so severely injured, they will need long-term care and may never completely recover.

A personal injury attorney at Georgia Trial Attorneys will provide you a free consultation and case evaluation to see if the circumstances of your child’s injury qualify for a pursuit of compensation for your child’s injuries. Depending on whether the playground where the accident occurred is privately or publicly owned will make a difference in how your case must be pursued.

Time limits for filing claims against public entities are very strict. If you miss the deadline, you may lose forever your right to collect damages for which you would otherwise be entitled. Contact us at Georgia Trial Attorneys as soon as possible.


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